Peel Logistics has moved a step closer towards realising its ambition of becoming a big hitter in the sector after merging with industrial developer Evander Properties.

The joint venture between Peel Group and Macquarie Capital has joined forces with Evander in a move that will see its development pipeline grow to 5.5m sq ft.

Evander’s directors Jeremy Greenland and Neil Dickinson will become co-investing shareholders in the new business, which will take the Peel Logistics name, becoming chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively.

The pair will set about implementing ambitious growth plans that include the acquisition of strategic land sites, development opportunities and income-producing opportunities. They will seek third-party institutional capital to support the strategy.

“We continue to see deep demand from global institutional investors for UK logistics real estate,” Jonathan Harris, Macquarie Capital’s head of European real estate, told Property Week.

“The combination of a management-owned platform, highly experienced leadership, first-class development capability and the support of Peel and Macquarie should be an attractive proposition for a range of investors.”

To date, Peel Logistics, which was launched in July 2015 and seeded with capital from Peel and Macquarie, has focused on exploiting opportunities sourced from its access to Peel’s 5,674-acre land bank - mainly in the North West.

Great Bear completion

It has completed its first two projects this year: a 280,000 sq ft warehouse let to Great Bear (formerly Culina) at Port Salford and a 175,000 sq ft speculative development at Liverpool International Business Park.

Greenland and Dickinson, who will work alongside Peel Logistics’ existing development director Matt Fitton, will be responsible for the growth of Peel Logistics, including the integration of Evander’s 1.4m sq ft development pipeline with Peel Logistics’ current projects and the sourcing of new acquisition opportunities in key UK logistics markets.

“Jeremy and Neil bring a tremendous amount of credibility and a track record that will enhance our ability to grow the business, exploiting opportunities across Peel’s existing extensive pipeline of logistics sites and via the acquisition and development of high-quality logistics space across the UK,” said Steven Underwood, chief executive of Peel Group.

Prior to founding Evander in 2007, Greenland worked at Prologis, Astral Developments and JLL and he was joined at Evander by former Prologis colleague Dickinson in 2008.

Since inception, Evander has undertaken over 4.7m sq ft of logistics development with a GDV in excess of £360m on behalf of institutional investors.