AXA IM Alts buys the world’s first automated logistics facility

The world’s first automated logistics facility, the Moorebank Logistics Precinct in Sydney, has been acquired by AXA IM Alts, a global leader in alternative investments, with partners  Australian Super, Ivanhoé Cambridge, TCorp (NSW Treasury Corporation) and logistics developer and investor Logos. The price paid for the asset was A$1.67 billion (€1.06 billion).

Moorebank Logistics Precinct in Sydney, Australia

The 243-hectare precinct in the high growth Western Sydney region will be developed into a high-quality warehousing precinct, providing over 850,000 sq m of modern logistics and industrial warehousing, with unrivalled supply chain benefits to tenants, the group said.

At present, MLP comprises over 150,000 sq m of warehousing, occupied by a diverse range of national and international businesses, while a number of pre-lets have already been secured for the new site, totalling c. 125,000 sq m of space. On completion of the planned development, which is expected to be in 2026, the precinct will have an end value of A$44 billion (€2.5 billion).

The precinct has good road and rail access and sits less than 20 kilometres from the centre of Sydney and just 15 kilometres from Sydney Airport and Port Botany. Sydney continues to be one of Australia’s most in-demand logistics markets, with consistently high take-up and low vacancy rates.

Asset breaks new ground technologically and in ESG terms

“The acquisition of MLP breaks new ground not just for Australian logistics, but the wider Asia Pacific region, both technologically and with regard to its ESG credentials, with MLP’s full automation and energy-and water-saving technologies ensuring that it sets an industry benchmark for sustainable, future-proof logistics facilities,” said Kumar Kalyanakumar, head of Australia, AXA IM Alts.

The precinct will be developed to the highest ESG standards, and on completion, will be one of the most energy efficient logistics parks in the world. Using its embedded network and extensive use of warehouse roof-top solar generation, MLP will generate up to 50,000 MWh pa of onsite renewable power.

The precinct is targeting 5-star green star certification for the warehouses and carbon neutrality through green power generation and climate resilience strategies, having been awarded an Excellent Infrastructure Sustainability rating (for Design) from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).

The investment in MLP aligns with AXA IM Alts’ commitment to generating strong sustainable returns for clients while affecting positive societal change, focusing on the decarbonisation of building stock and resilience to the impacts of climate change.

This latest acquisition also aligns well with AXA IM Alts’ beds, sheds and meds investment strategy in both Europe and Asia Pacific, as the precinct offers unique exposure to a sector that was already attractive before the pandemic, but which has further grown in appeal as a result of structural trends accelerated by COVID-19. The group manages €3.1 billion of logistics assets in Europe, €800 million in Asia-Pacific and €900 million in the US.

“Through this acquisition, we have gained access to a best-in-class asset, comprising a mix of core stabilised and development buildings, which will benefit from the Australian government’s continued investment into road and rail infrastructure, providing a long-term opportunity for growing scale over time,” said Kalyanakumar.