Bahrain's GFH acquires FedEx-leased warehouse in Ohio for $100m

The investment company is looking to capitalise on tailwinds from strong growth in the e-commerce sector

Cityscape of the hotels, skyscrapers and development along the 'Al Corniche' and the 'Diplomatic Area' of Manama in Bahrain illuminated at night.

Bahrain's GFH Financial Group acquired a US warehousing and distribution logistics centre for $100 million, as it continues to expand its industrial property assets.

The Ohio warehousing unit, which is fully leased to logistics company FedEx, is part of the Bahraini asset manager's focus on the "acquisition of high quality logistics assets in key distribution hubs", it said on Saturday.

The company plans to capitalise on strong tailwinds from growing e-commerce penetration rates and sales in markets including the US, the world's biggest economy.

The latest acquisition will add further value to the company's North American portfolio, it said.

GFH, which has assets and funds worth $12 billion under management, completed an off-market sale of UK logistics property Accolade Park to Tritax Big Box Reit in April for $123m through its UK subsidiary.

GFH has been investing into "mission critical" logistics assets across Europe, including supermarket retailer Tesco's Avonmouth distribution unit in the UK, which it acquired for $102m.

It also picked up the GP Logistics Centre in Spain for $96m, Amazon's fulfilment centre in the Czech Republic for $165m and Amazon's three last-mile assets in Spain for $100m.

The e-commerce sector has recorded an exponential growth worldwide as consumer spending patterns shift amid coronavirus-induced restrictions on accessing brick-and-mortar shops.

"The logistics and distribution real estate sector has proven to be one of the most dynamic sectors of commercial real estate," said Razi Al Merbati, GFH Capital Saudi Arabia chief executive.

"An increase in global trade and e-commerce, as well as development in supply chain management, has created an increased structural demand for warehousing space and, hence, further growth. As part of our investment strategy, we have been investing in this dynamic sector and building a solid and diversified portfolio."

In December, the company bought Roebuck, which manages about £684m ($953.3m) worth of warehouse and logistics assets.

Earlier this month, the company announced plans to fully acquire Khaleeji Commercial Bank after it raised its stake in the Sharia-compliant lender to more than 69 per cent.