23/09/2021 - 15:07

Jandakot airport sold in $1.3bn deal

23/09/2021 - 15:07

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Dexus has bought Jandakot airport and surrounding land for $1.3 billion, establishing its footprint in WA logistics infrastructure.

Jandakot Airport and industrial area.

Dexus has bought Jandakot airport and surrounding land for $1.3 billion, establishing its footprint in WA logistics infrastructure.

The acquisition, which includes 49 industrial properties over 360,000 square metres, 80 hectares of developable land and an operating airport, marks the property giant’s first logistics investment in WA.

Dexus made the purchase with its recently-acquired property trust Industria REIT, which will raise equity for a 33.3 per cent stake in the asset, from Ascot Capital and Kirsh Group.

The property giant plans to develop the industrial portion of the land into a logistics hub.

Dexus chief investment officer Ross Du Vernet told Business News the acquisition marked an important push into logistics in WA, as well as being the first operational airport it had invested in.

“This is this is our first logistics investment in WA (and) it's a very important one for us, because we have national customers who have national relationships…and we need product for them in WA to help serve the growing needs,” he said.

“We've waited a long time to make a big investment in the logistics space in WA…and there is further significant commitment required to fund that development pipeline.”

He said it would cost half a billion dollars to develop the 80ha parcel, which will occur over the next five to seven years.

Mr Du Vernet added that the appeal of the asset was its scalability and the fact it represented a diversification of income streams.

“We've been looking in WA for the last three to four years for scalable opportunities in the logistics and warehousing space, and we've shied away from doing individual asset deals,” he said.

“One of the really appealing parts of this transaction for us is it is a combination of a significant stabilised portfolio of real estate, plus the developable land, so we've got critical mass day one.” 

The 49 industrial properties are leased to more than 54 tenants, reflecting a 5.2 per cent initial yield.

Ray White Commercial helped facilitate the record-breaking sale, by introducing the vendors to Dexus as part of the off-market deal. 

“I knew the vendors, Ascot Capital, and I knew Dexus was seeking to aquire an industrial portfolio in Western Australia, so I made the introduction,” Ray White Commercial WA agent Brett Wilkins said. 

“It’s one of the largest property deals ever in Western Australia.” 

Jandakot Airport will continue to operate under its existing management and Mr Du Vernet described the operation of the airport as ancillary to the industrial development.

Perth-based Ascot Capital and its South Africa-based partner Kirsch Group bought the airport property in 2005 for a reported $47 million, and since then have undertaken major investments developing a large industrial estate on land around the airport.

The airport was privatised in 1998, when the Australian government sold it for $7 million.

The original owners were Perth-based civil contractor Hans Versteeg and land developer Kevin Pollock.

The private owners hold a 50-year lease with an option for a 49-year lease extension.

Dexus and Industria REIT also acquired a 42,500sqm prime logistics facility in Kemps Creek, NSW for $125.4 million.

In addition, Industria REIT purchased a 30,000sqm Australia Post facility for $69m, which includes opportunity to develop an additional 11,537sqm of warehousing in Truganina, Victoria.

The recent acquisitions are expected to take Dexus group’s industrial portfolio across Australia to more than $11 billion, on completion of the near-term developments.

Separately, Ascot Capital has plans to sell some of its other WA assets, with GPT Group confirming it is in discssions with the property developer.  

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