Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC announced its fifth biggest investment this week, participating as lead investor in the purchase of 328 industrial properties in the US from Swedish private equity firm EQT for US$6.8 billion.

The deal is the eighth biggest signed by a sovereign wealth fund and had reportedly received bids from several US and international buyers, including pension funds and REITs. The 70.5 million square foot portfolio was marketed by EQT Exeter, with properties averaging 250,000 square feet located in various US metropolitan areas. The portfolio includes distribution, fulfilment and last-mile centers and was 95% occupied at sale. The pandemic has driven logistics real estate due to its importance within e-commerce

GIC represents seven of the top 15 biggest private equity transactions by SWFs. Its biggest was a 50% stake worth US$5.8 billion in Nouryon, a specialty chemicals unit spun out by AkzoNobel. Other big investments include a 50% stake in US rail company Genesee & Wyoming (US$5.2 billion), a 18% stake in finance data provider Refinitiv (US$3.7 billion) and a 45% stake in Indcor Properties (US$3.6 billion).

When it comes to chunky assets, the Singaporean SWF appears to prefer real assets, particularly industrial and logistics property and infrastructure. The Singaporean fund serves the US market with two offices in New York, which opened back in 1984, and San Francisco, which opened two years later to focus on technology and healthcare. The North American infrastructure team has over 20 members and is headed by Alex Greenbaum.

As reflected in Global SWF’s 2021 annual reportGIC was the top spender in calendar 2020 with US$17.7 billion and is well under way to beat that figure in 2021, with nearly US$30 billion already deployed in 96 different investments in the year to date – around a third of which is in real estate.

Related funds GIC
Related tags Logistics Real Estate