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Oxford Properties In Talks To Buy Top Industrial Fund Manager

M7's Richard Croft

Canadian investment giant Oxford Properties is in exclusive talks to buy European fund manager M7 Real Estate in a deal that will help it boost its exposure to the industrial sector. 

M7 appointed Eastdil Secured to find an investor in the business earlier this year. M7 confirmed to Bisnow it is in talks about a sale of the business to a “global institutional commercial real estate investor,” and React News reported that investor is Oxford Properties. 

M7 has €5.3B (£4.8B) in assets under management across 37 mandates, managing 830 assets totaling 67.5M SF across 14 European countries. The company has 225 staff and is led by Executive Chairman Richard Croft and Chief Executive David Ebbrell.

The company is best known for its expertise in the light-industrial and logistics sectors, which make up 53% of its assets under management. 

It invested in the light-industrial and last-mile logistics sector on behalf of Blackstone, creating the platform that became the U.S. giant’s €11B Mileway European last-mile business. 

Oxford Properties, led in Europe by Joanne McNamara, is looking to make a big splash in the logistics and last-mile sectors in Europe, having identified it as a growth area alongside rented residential and life sciences. 

It invested £200M in 2018 into a fund managed by GLP that will build UK and European logistics assets, and in September it bought British Airways’ Heathrow logistics campus, its first direct investment in the sector in Europe, and the first step in a £3B direct logistics investment program.

React said Oxford could invest in funds run by M7, as well as using it to manage assets and capital for other institutional investors.