Bahrain’s GFH acquires majority stake in UK logistics group

Roebuck Asset Management is active in a number of countries in Europe

Mandatory Credit: Photo by imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock (1858916a)
Skyline of the Corniche as seen from King Faisal Highway, Muharraq side, World Trade Center buildings, left, beside the towers of the Financial Harbour Complex, Muharriq Bridge at the Sheikh Isa Causeway, capital city, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, Persian Gulf
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Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group acquired a majority stake in a UK-based property asset management company that is active in a number of countries in Europe.

This deal "will enable the group to more effectively expand its investment activities in the UK and European logistics real estate sector, a segment of the market showing solid fundamentals and prospects for growth",GFH said in a statement on Saturday.

Founded in 2009, by Hugh Macdonald-Brown and Nick Rhodes, Roebuck Asset Management has managed assets worth £1.4 billion ($1.89bn), covering over 15 million square feet of area, according to GFH. The firm’s primary focus has been on the acquisition and management of logistics assets, investing in over 85 properties in the UK to date and as well as in Spain, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

The demand for warehouses has been rising due to an uptick in e-commerce activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Bahrain-listed private equity and alternative asset manager Investcorp is also boosting its investment in the industrial warehouse sector.

“This is a strategic investment into a profitable platform with a proven track record and capabilities and broad institutional investor base providing GFH with a low risk approach to further expanding the European market,” Hisham Alrayes, chief executive of GFH, said. The company did not disclose the total investment in the deal.

Roebuck, which also manages assets on behalf of a diverse group of institutional investors and UHNWIs (ultra-high net worth individuals) from the UK, South Africa, India, South Korea, and Malaysia will continue to operate independently, according to GFH.

The deal will “unlock further exciting opportunities we are seeing in the UK and European logistics and business space sectors,” Mr Macdonald-Brown and Mr Rhodes, managing partners at Roebuck, said.

Earlier this month, GFH, acquired warehouses in Spain for $77 million. The properties are leased on a long-term basis to Amazon Road Transport, a subsidiary of global e-commerce firm Amazon. It also completed the acquisition of AMA International University-Bahrain for $100m.