Ascendas Reit to acquire 11 logistics properties in Kansas City for $207.8 million

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Ascendas real estate investment trust (Reit) has proposed the acquisition of 11 logistic properties located in Kansas City in the United States for $207.8 million.

The acquisition will be the Reit's first entry in the US logistics market, the Reit's manager said in a bourse filing on Friday (Oct 22).

The portfolio is 92.6 per cent occupied by 27 customers from industries, including third-party logistics, wholesale distribution, manufacturing and healthcare. It has a strong retention rate, with current tenants in place for an average of 12½ years, the Reit's manager noted.

It also has minimal tenant concentration risk, with no single customer contributing to more than 10 per cent of total rental income as at Sept 30, and the current leases have built in annual rental escalations ranging between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent.

The properties are in infill locations across the sub-markets of South Johnson County, North Johnson County, Eastern Jackson County and Northland. These sub-markets house around 70 per cent of the overall inventory in the Kansas City market, the manager said.

Mr William Tay, executive director and chief executive officer of the manager, expects there will be continuous high demand for this portfolio as it provides convenient access to the domestic market, Midwestern population centres and other commercial hubs in the US.

He said: "We are confident of the growth potential of this portfolio given Kansas City's geographically central location within the US and its well-developed transportation infrastructure."

The Reit's manager intends to redeploy the proceeds from its recent divestment of three logistics properties in Australia to partially fund the acquisition. The remaining balance will be financed through existing debt facilities.

On a pro forma basis, the manager expects that the acquisition will increase the proportion of logistics properties to 22 per cent of Ascendas Reit's total investment properties of $16.2 billion, from 21 per cent as at Sept 30.

Assuming the acquisition had been completed on Jan 1 last year, distribution per unit for financial year 2020 will likely improve by 11 cents, on a pro forma basis.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to closing conditions and is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.

Units of Ascendas Reit closed at $3.06 on Thursday, up two cents or 0.7 per cent.

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