Newport Beach – Bixby Land Company, a leading commercial real estate operator and investment manager in the Western U.S., has reached an agreement with AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets (“AXA IM – Real Assets”), a global leader in real asset investments and the leading(1) property portfolio and asset manager in Europe, acting on behalf of one of its clients, to acquire as much as $400 million of industrial properties. The joint venture with AXA IM – Real Assets fuels a strategic increase in Bixby’s industrial investment portfolio and advances its growing third party institutional investment management business.
Bixby owns and manages approximately $1 billion in industrial and office properties, with the new venture broadening the firm’s capacity to acquire industrial properties in existing target Western U.S. markets at an accelerated pace over the next few years.
“Bixby’s venture with AXA IM – Real Assets extends our existing industrial real estate investment strategy and enables us to consider a higher volume of acquisition opportunities in markets where we have strong relationships, deep market knowledge and a long history of investment activity,” said Mike Severson, executive vice president and chief acquisitions officer at Bixby.
Severson will spearhead all acquisition activities for the venture, targeting leased industrial buildings in the $10 million to $40 million range in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Bixby has already contributed two industrial investments totaling approximately $27 million to the venture.
The joint venture also marks an increase in Bixby’s third-party institutional investment management business, a strategic initiative designed to expand the capital base of the 120-year-old privately-held firm.
Steve McCarthy, Head of North America at AXA IM – Real Assets, commented: “The asset class is supported by a number of strong fundamentals driven by structural changes in supply chains, e-commerce and consumer behavior and, as such, aims to deliver durable and growing long-term income streams. We are pleased to be working with such an established and reputable partner as Bixby in this joint venture and look forward to working with them on behalf of our clients.”
Bill Halford, Bixby CEO, added: “We are leveraging our longstanding investment management experience with institutional capital partners into a programmatic, long-term relationship benefiting the portfolio growth objectives for both Bixby and our partner.”
“This new venture supports a greater strategy to build a robust third-party investment management operation that aligns with our growth plans for the company over the next five years,” added Halford.
Bixby owns and operates a portfolio that includes 6 million square feet of office and industrial properties in the Western U.S. The firm has redesigned and developed over 30 buildings into creative work environments throughout California and in Oregon since 2010. Vice President of Acquisitions Matt Ela leads Bixby’s office investment activity.
1 Source: INREV/ANREV Fund Manager AUM Survey – May 2017 – in terms of assets under management