Logistics property player buys stakes in CIT managers

A logistics property developer backed by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus has struck a deal to acquire stakes in the trust manager and property manager of Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT).

The buyer, e-Shang Infinity Cayman, is acquiring an 80 per cent indirect stake in Cambridge Industrial Trust Management from the subsidiaries of National Australia Bank and Oxley Global.

The trust manager said yesterday that the transaction also includes the buyer, a unit of e-Shang Redwood (ESR), acquiring a 100 per cent indirect interest in Cambridge Industrial Property Management.

The investment amount for the deal, which is expected to be completed this week, was not disclosed.

Singapore-listed Cambridge Industrial Trust has 49 properties - ranging from logistics to warehousing to industrial real estate - worth about $1.4 billion in its portfolio.

Mr Ooi Eng Peng, independent chairman of the trust manager, said: "The business is in a much better position to grow to the next level with ESR as the major shareholder... where we can leverage off their industrial property experience and coverage."

The deal marked ESR's first foray into South-east Asia. The logistics real estate developer and operator has more than US$5 billion (S$7.1 billion) of assets under management in China, South Korea and Japan. It has 6.5 million sq m of projects in operation or under development in the three nations, with another 6 million sq m of projects in the pipeline.

ESR was formed last year when e-Shang, founded by Warburg Pincus and two Chinese entrepreneurs, merged with the Redwood Group.

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

Wong Siew Ying

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline Logistics property player buys stakes in CIT managers. Subscribe