Verdion and HOOPP agree exclusive development partnership

07/10/2013

Logistics property investor and developer Verdion has entered into an agreement with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) for the funding and development of logistics parks in Europe.

In its new partnership, HOOPP and Verdion will work together exclusively for logistics development throughout Europe, building a portfolio with a value of over €1 billion over the next five years. Verdion will continue to work with the largest 3pls, retailers and manufacturers in Europe, delivering high-quality logistics schemes.

HOOPP is one of the largest and most successful defined benefit pension plans in Canada, with 274,858 active members and pensioners and $47.4 billion in assets available for pensions.

Verdion, formerly Helios Europe, was established in January 2010 by CEO Michael Hughes, with the backing of Mansford Real Estate. The company has since become a leading force in the European logistics sector, with a specialist focus on e-tailing. As a result of the new funding agreement, Mansford has been bought out of the company and Verdion will now be fully owned and controlled by Hughes, together with his fellow directors.

With immediate effect, the new partnership will own and develop iPort, the 6 million sq ft, (557,400 sq m) rail logistics project in Doncaster UK, which has an end value of £400 million. HOOPP will also acquire a stake in Verdion’s Link Project in Germany comprising three logistics schemes located in Berlin, Leipzig and Ingolstadt, totalling over 3,767,491 sq ft (350,000 sq m) with an end value of €250 million.

Verdion_Unitax_Airlink_Park

The partnership has already invested together, developing a 1,184,069 sq ft (110,000 sq m) logistics scheme in Hanover, 643,920 sq ft (59,821 sq m) of which is pre-let to Netrada, one of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms, specialising in high-end luxury goods.

HOOPP and Verdion are also about to commit to another major warehouse development in Germany, pre-let to an international, household name retailer.

Verdion, formerly Helios Europe, was established in January 2010 by CEO Michael Hughes, with the backing of Mansford Real Estate. The company has since become a leading force in the European logistics sector, with a specialist focus on e-tailing. As a result of the new funding agreement, Mansford has been bought out of the company and Verdion will now be fully owned and controlled by Hughes, together with his fellow directors.

Michael Hughes, CEO, Verdion commented,
“The new partnership enables us to enlarge our development team and offer an enhanced service to our clients, The HOOPP Real Estate team is very entrepreneurial, highly respected and operated to the highest international professional standards. Our clients will benefit in occupancy by having HOOPP as their investor owners, HOOPP taking a long term ownership perspective and seeking a long term relationship with their tenant clients.”

Michael Catford, Vice President, Real Estate at HOOPP commented,
“This is a great opportunity for HOOPP to partner with an experienced developer to create a pipeline of logistics facilities in the UK and Europe and builds upon our extensive experience and investments in the industrial sector across Canada. It will also be a meaningful step in expanding HOOPP’s real estate presence in Europe which now includes direct investments in shopping centres in the UK and the Czech Republic, our co-venture with the Crown Estate in St. James’s and a number of co-mingled fund investments.”

Cushman & Wakefield Corporate Finance advised HOOPP and Verdion was represented by de Morgan & Co and Lakestar Capital.

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Notes to editors
VERDION
Verdion is a major real estate investor and developer with a specialist focus on logistics warehousing in mainland Europe. Its current development pipeline exceeds 10 million sq ft (929,000 sq m) of Grade A warehouse space across the Continent. The company has offices in Dusseldorf and Vienna, with its HQ in London. Formerly known as Helios Europe, Verdion was formed in January 2010 by Michael Hughes.

HOOPP
Created in 1960, HOOPP is the pension plan of choice for Ontario’s hospital and community-based healthcare sector with over 440 participating healthcare organizations. HOOPP’s 274,000 members include nurses, medical technicians, food services staff and laundry workers, and many other people who work hard to provide valued Ontario healthcare services.

As a defined benefit plan, HOOPP provides eligible members with a retirement income based on a formula that takes into account a member’s earnings history and length of service in the Plan. Once eligible members start receiving a pension, they receive it for life.

HOOPP is governed by a Board of Trustees with representation from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions: the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union (OPSEU), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The unique governance model provides representation from both management and workers in support of the long-term interests of the Plan.

For further information please contact:

Kate Titchmarsh, Flashbulb PR
Tel. +44 (0)20 3440 4116
kate@the-flashbulb.com

Verdion (London)
Tel. +44 2071939557
info@verdion.com

Martin Biefer, HOOPP
Tel: (416) 369-8045