GFH Financial Group, the Bahrain investment bank that manages more than $13 billion in assets and funds, bought 14 logistics assets leased to Amazon worth $2bn, as the company continues to expand its portfolio and leverage the growth of e-commerce in the US.
The new assets in 11 states are fully leased to the e-commerce giant and are bought in partnership with Preylock Holdings and other investors, GFH said in a statement on Thursday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.
“GFH’s investment drive is based on long-term fundamentals of the continued growth of e-commerce, the evolution of supply chain logistics and the inability of supply in terms of construction to meet the current or projected demand,” the company said.
The warehouses were designed and built to suit Amazon’s requirements and are located near major ports and critical infrastructure, minimising inbound ground transportation expenses and providing for significant national reach to a majority of the US market, GFH said.
In the third quarter of this year, demand for warehouse space in the US outstripped new supply by 41 million square feet and is expected to continue to grow on the back of higher e-commerce business and other developments, according to the company.
“The 14 assets are strategically located…enabling Amazon to effectively streamline the flow and delivery of goods to its massive and ever-expanding customer base across the US,” Nael Mustafa, co-chief investment officer of real estate at GFH, said.
"The investment is supported by the ongoing growth in e-commerce, with Amazon an undisputed leader, and the resulting demand for high quality industrial and warehousing space required for storage and distribution," Mr Mustafa added.
Over the past year, GFH has built a portfolio currently valued at more than $1bn in the US and European logistics sectors.
The acquisitions include facilities purpose-built for and occupied by Amazon in Spain and FedEx and Michelin in the US.
Earlier this year, it acquired a $100 million student housing portfolio affiliated with several top universities in the US as part of its expansion plans.
It also bought a US warehousing and distribution logistics centre for $100m in June.
GFH's UK investments include supermarket retailer Tesco's Avonmouth distribution unit, which it acquired for $102m.