Charter Hall has swooped on a major logistics portfolio, with the property funds group adding a cold store and food distribution centre network from the Smith family’s PFD Food Services.
The $269.4 million deal will see Charter Hall’s $6 billion wholesale industrial and logistics fund collect a 25-strong warehouse portfolio on average 13.8 year sale and leaseback to PFD.
PFD Food Services is the largest, privately-owned food service distributor in Australia delivering an extensive range of dry goods, frozen and chilled products, fresh seafood and meat, confectionery, paper products and cleaning solutions to business customers across Australia.
It’s diverse customer base includes pubs and clubs, cafés, airlines, hotels, restaurants, aged care and retirement villages, resorts, theme parks, convenience outlets, venue and field caterers, fast food outlets, schools, kindergartens, sporting, child care and correctional facilities.
Woolworths has agreed to make a strategic $552 investment alongside the Smith family to acquire a 65 per cent equity interest in the business, which is subject to regulatory approval.
The supermarket giant has pledged itself to confidential trading terms after the competition regulator expressed concerns over the power it would give Woolworths when dealing with food manufacturers.
Charter Hall’s managing director and group chief executive David Harrison said he was delighted to secure the PFD Food Services portfolio off-market.
“This acquisition continues our momentum in securing sale and leaseback portfolios from leading corporates and demonstrates the Group’s ability to close large transactions, swiftly and efficiently within the desired timeframes of vendors,” he said.
“The properties were acquired off-market and is a testament to our ability to work with corporates to develop tailored deal structures that support their broader investment strategies and release capital back into their business.”
PFD Food Services founder Rick Smith echoed the sentiments.
“We are pleased to partner with such an experienced owner of warehouse and logistics property. It provides a key new relationship to facilitate the further growth that we are enthusiastically planning for the business,” he said.
Charter Hall continues to be extremely active in the industrial market acquiring more than $2.5 billion in industrial and logistics facilities this financial year and $6.3 billion in the last three years. It also has a $2.3 billion industrial development pipeline.