MARCOL acquires £26million UK logistics portfolio

MARCOL completed the acquisition of a £26m UK logistics portfolio on 25 July after almost a year of negotiations.

The portfolio comprises eleven properties, including cold stores and transport and cross dock facilities, located across England. It was acquired from international transport and logistics company Norbert Dentressangle on a sale and leaseback and they will continue to lease nine of the properties.

Cold storage is a specialist sub-sector of the logistics industry in which MARCOL has not previously invested and a lot of research was carried out prior to the acquisition. Director Nigel Lax explains: “Cold storage is an interesting business and there are only five or six major players who account for more than 55% of the refrigerated storage capacity within the UK, including Norbert Dentressangle.

“A high percentage of existing facilities will become obsolete by 2015, as new EU legislation enforces the removal of a widely-used refrigerant that is damaging to the environment, but very few new facilities are being built due to high build costs of up to £120 per sq ft, compared with £40 per sq ft for an average shed.

“Both of these factors, along with the predicted increase in frozen food sales in the UK, will lead to higher demand for large mechanised facilities, especially those that are located within areas of agriculture and food processing.”

Each cold store within the portfolio is compliant with new legislation and the majority are well-located, particularly the largest facility in Grantham, where the food processing industry is the main employer.

The portfolio had been owned by Norbert Dentressangle since 2007, when it acquired the publicly listed logistics company Christian Salvesen and took it private.

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