Property fund snaps up one of Scotland’s top industrial estates

The site is immediately to the east of Glasgow, at the junction of the A8 and A725. Picture: Contributed
The site is immediately to the east of Glasgow, at the junction of the A8 and A725. Picture: Contributed
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A major UK commercial property trust with a portfolio valued at almost £1.5 billion has snapped up a large industrial estate near Glasgow in a £24.6 million investment deal.

UK Commercial Property REIT – one of a growing number of stock market-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) – said it had acquired M8 Industrial Estate from Grayling Capital. The headline price of £24.6m is based on a “topped up” net initial yield of 5.9 per cent.

The estate comprises 20 units totalling almost 300,000 square feet and offers the potential for two further developments on site. M8 is at 92 per cent occupancy and existing tenants include Boots, Rentokil and PTS.

The site is immediately to the east of Glasgow, at the junction of the A8 and A725, providing access to the M8 motorway linking Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The trust, which is managed and advised by Aberdeen Standard Investments, described the estate as being in “one of Scotland’s best located industrial and distribution locations”. It provides firms with access to more than two million people within a one-hour drive time and some four million people within a two-hour drive.

Will Fulton, lead manager of UK Commercial Property REIT at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “This transaction is a continuation of our stated strategy to invest capital into prime assets which offer income growth potential and that are accretive to dividend cover.

“M8 Industrial Estate is a high quality, multi-let industrial asset, which not only generates stable income, but also offers potential to capture reversion and lease up space.

“There is also an opportunity for future value creation and income growth through active asset management.”

The trust was advised by JLL on the acquisition with MWM acting for Grayling Capital.

UK Commercial Property REIT already had about 8 per cent of its portfolio north of the Border, encompassing property on Edinburgh’s George Street and a Cineworld cinema in Glasgow. Last month, it said it had some £80m available for fresh investment opportunities.

Releasing its latest set of results at the start of August, the trust described its second-quarter performance as “robust”, with a net asset value (NAV) total return of 2.2 per cent. Fulton highlighted a total return of 3.9 per cent for the first half. During Q2, like-for-like portfolio capital value increased by 1.9 per cent.

Fulton said at the time: “We outperformed our IPD benchmarks over the six months. That has been led by being strategically overweight in industrials and there has also been a bit of asset management.”

The portfolio is valued at almost £1.42bn.