NAB, Oxley to sell 80% stake in Cambridge Industrial Trust manager to e-Shang Redwood

A five-storey block at 16, Tai Seng Street, one of the buildings owned by Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT).
A five-storey block at 16, Tai Seng Street, one of the buildings owned by Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT).PHOTO: CAMBRIDGE INDUSTRIAL TRUST

SINGAPORE - Warehouse developer and operator e-Shang Redwood (ESR) has agreed to buy an 80 per cent indirect stake in the manager of Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT) from National Australia Bank and investment firm Oxley Group.

e-Shang Redwood said the deal would mark its first foray into South-east Asia.

NAB holds 56 per cent while Oxley holds a 24 per cent stake in the manager of CIT, a real estate investment trust that owns assets such as warehouses and logistics properties. Mitsui and Co owns the remaining 20 per cent.

The companies did not disclose the deal value.

In October, e-Shang Redwood had entered into an option agreement to buy up to 10.65 per cent of CIT, which is valued by the market at about US$501 million (S$711.2 million), from three existing unitholders.

The transaction is expected to complete this week, Cambridge Industrial Trust Management (CITM) said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday (Jan 18).

Said ESR co-CEOs Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson in the filing: "Our investment underscores our confidence in the underlying fundamentals and quality of CIT's portfolio of assets, which provide us a strong platform for further diversification and growth into Singapore and key markets across Asia."

ESR is a pan-Asia logistics real estate developer, owner and operator, formed as a result of a merger between e-Shang and the Redwood Group in 2016. Since the merger, it has grown to become the second largest developer in North Asia with more than US$5 billion of assets under management across China, South Korea and Japan, said CITM.

eShang, founded in 2011 by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Chinese real estate entrepreneurs - Mr Shen and Sun Dongping - develops institutional-quality warehouses in China and South Korea.

The Redwood Group, founded in 2006 by Mr Gibson and Mr Charles de Portes, is a specialised logistics real estate firm and funds management business with operations in China and Japan.