On 21 December 2018 we completed the acquisition of 22 industrial estates from Hansteen Holdings for £67.9m. The acquisition marked a big step forward for our strategy of becoming the leading MLI business in the UK and takes our total MLI portfolio to around 3.8m sq ft and 40% of our total assets. The portfolio fits with our investment criteria of modern, purpose-built industrial estates, with small units (averaging 3,500 sq ft), which appeal to a wide range of different businesses and are suitable for an array of uses. The average rent of £4.35/sq ft reflects a significant discount of more than £1/sq ft to our current portfolio average, demonstrating good potential for rental growth, while the acquisition price, which reflects a capital value of £59/sq ft, is around 50% of the replacement cost of the buildings.
"The acquisition marked a big step forward for our strategy of becoming the leading MLI business in the UK"
We are now busy rebranding the estates and rolling out the Industrials.co.uk offer to our new customers. Combined with our existing portfolio we now have around 1,200 lettable units and more than 830 customers with an increasing presence in the UK’s key industrial markets. The goal for this year is to continue to grow our MLI assets so that they comprise approximately 65% of our portfolio and reduce our leverage to below 40% by March 2020. Simultaneously, we are investing in our MLI operating platform to maximise efficiency, leverage our scale and increase our revenue per square foot by expanding the range of products we offer to our tenants.