The Ardent Companies UK, the acquisitive subsidiary of US-based real estate investment and asset management firm The Ardent Companies, has acquired four light industrial assets for £24.7 million.
The buys – split between the Shelby Portfolio of three Birmingham estates and a standalone asset in Crawley, West Sussex – provide a total of over 250,000 sq ft of space, increasing the size of Ardent UK’s industrial platform by more than 10%.
The Shelby Portfolio was acquired from LondonMetric Property for £21.6 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.7%. The portfolio provides a total of 235,314 sq ft of industrial space, split across three key strategic Birmingham locations: Forge Trading Estate (77,036 sq ft of space across 26 units) in Halesowen; Mucklow Hill Trade Park (96,369 sq ft across 19 units), also in Halesowen; and Long Acre Trading Estate (61,909 sq ft across eight units) in Aston. The portfolio has a current occupancy rate of 99%, with excellent reversionary potential.
51-55 Gatwick Road, part of Crawley’s Manor Road Industrial Estate area and within a mile of Gatwick Airport, comprises three light industrial units totalling 17,342 sq ft, 1,994 sq ft of retail space and 1,575 sq ft of offices, with occupancy standing at over 95%. It was Ardent UK’s second purchase from the Pears Group, acquired for £3.1 million which reflects a net initial yield of 6.62%.
The new acquisitions bring Ardent UK’s national industrial and logistics portfolio, which made its first buy in March 2021, to over 2.25 million sq ft of space. The Shelby Portfolio and Crawley assets represent new geographic expansions for the platform, which has targeted properties in strategic locations that offer the opportunity for significantly enhanced performance and value through active asset management and development.
Richard Benson, managing director of Ardent UK, said: “Our focus when building this industrial platform has been on quickly achieving scale and geographic balance with assets that offer asset management potential, and to grow the portfolio to over 2.25 million sq ft in less than 18 months is a sign of our ambition. Demand for these assets remains high, and as such it is particularly pleasing to secure the Shelby Portfolio, which was not only highly competitive but also partly due to our reputation for acting swiftly and with integrity when acquiring.”
Ardent UK was advised by Knight Frank on the Shelby Portfolio and Cushman & Wakefield on 51-55 Gatwick Road, with legal advice from Greenberg Traurig on both deals. ACRE Capital Real Estate acted on behalf of LondonMetric Property and the Pears Group was represented by Ereira Mendoza.