ProLogis, Bahrain Investment Bank Form Industrial JV

Denver-based ProLogis and Bahrain-based investment bank Arcapita have formed a 50-50 joint venture to create ProLogis Middle East, which will develop and acquire logistics warehouse space in most of the Middle Eastern nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. All together, the JV plans $1 billion property portfolio.Under the terms of the deal, ProLogis Middle East will acquire, finance, develop and manage warehousing properties in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar (five of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations; the other is the United Arab Emirates). The JV will initially focus on Saudi Arabia and expects to commence construction of its first properties later this year. Other developments will follow.About two-thirds of the JV’s development will be build-to-suit projects, with the remainder comprising inventory, sale-leaseback and fee development transactions, according to ProLogis Middle East. Saudi Arabia will ultimately account for up to 70 percent of the total platform size.Saudi Arabia in particular will be a strong market for logistics space in the near term partly because of its oil wealth, but also because of its increasing economic diversity and demand for consumer and business products, as reflected in rapidly growing GDP. In 2006, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council members reported GDP growth of more than U.S.$629 billion, a year-over-year increase of 6.3 percent.As an owner and manager of distribution facilities in 118 markets worldwide, ProLogis is no stranger to the region. Arcapita’s lines of business are corporate investment, real estate investment, asset-based investment and venture capital. The company has completed 66 transactions with a total value of about $23 billion.