SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) is acquiring a portfolio of 17 grade-A logistics assets with an average age of 1.6 years in China, Vietnam and Japan for a combined total value of $1.4 billion.

In a bourse filing on Tuesday (Nov 23), the manager said that proposed acquisitions of 13 properties located in China, through subsidiaries of Mapletree Investments and a subsidiary of Itochu Corporation, amounts to $870 million, while acquisitions of three properties in Vietnam, through the subsidiary of Mapletree Investments, is $129.9 million.

Separately, the manager also announced the proposed acquisition of an effective 97 per cent in the trust beneficial interest of Kuwana Logistics Centre located in Japan. The acquisition is from an unrelated third party vendor at an agreed property value of $416.3 million. The remaining 3 per cent effective interest in the property will be held by Mapletree Investments Japan Kabushiki Kaisha, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MLT.

The China acquisitions will deepen MLT’s presence in the region which will now see 43 assets in 29 cities. The scarcity of grade-A warehouses in the China market as well as the location of the properties in close proximity to large population catchments bring key benefits to unitholders, the manager noted.

“The enlarged portfolio allows MLT to offer tenants a multi-city network of warehouse facilities, positioning MLT to be the preferred partner for fast-growing tenants looking to build presence across the country,” the manager said.

Vietnam is also a beneficiary of the structural trend of supply chain diversification, with competitive costs and an attractive investment environment.

The manager added: “With rising consumption, an expanding middle-income urban population and strong e-commerce adoption rate, demand for quality logistics space is expected to remain robust, while supply of Grade-A logistics space remains limited.”

Meanwhile, the Japan Property to be acquired is a freehold, five-storey dry logistics facility with a gross floor area of over 1.7 million square feet. It is located within an established industrial and logistics cluster in Greater Nagoya, and is in close proximity to Nagoya City, Nagoya Port and Centrair Airport, as well as the ShinMeishin Expressway.

Chief executive officer of the manager, Ng Kiat said that the acquisitions in China and Vietnam will expand MLT’s network connectivity in those large growing consumer markets while the acquisition in Japan will scale up MLT’s presence in Greater Nagoya, an attractive logistics market strategically located between Greater Tokyo and Greater Osaka.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of logistics and placed a greater emphasis on supply chain resiliency, fuelling demand for modern logistics space,” she added.

The trust requested for a trading halt on Tuesday morning. Units of MLT closed one cent or 0.5 per cent lower at $1.95 on Monday.