ESR tie-up to invest $1bn in properties

ESR tie-up to invest $1bn in properties

Company targets logistics and industry

An artist's impression of ESR's industrial park in Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi with a gross floor area of 253,500 square metres.
An artist's impression of ESR's industrial park in Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi with a gross floor area of 253,500 square metres.

ESR (Thailand), a joint venture between the Hong Kong-based property investment firm ESR Group and Asia Industrial Estate, plans to invest US$1 billion between 2023-27 to develop 2 million square metres of logistics and industrial properties.

Sayarm Tongkrabin, director of investments and asset management at ESR Thailand, said the company's five-year investment plan is focused on strategic locations, including Bang Na-Trat in Samut Prakan, Wang Noi in Ayutthaya, and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) provinces.

"The plan will centre around logistics, warehouses, data centres, high-tech industries and life sciences, which are all new economy sectors that make up half of ESR's parent firm's assets under management [AUM]," he said.

The next locations will be in major provinces in the region, including Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani.

Founded in March 2022 with registered capital of 75 million baht, ESR Thailand is working on an industrial park, a partnership between ESR and Asia Industrial Estate. They hold 49% and 51%, respectively.

Asia Industrial Estate is an industrial estate developer with major shareholders including City Realty, investment companies owned by the Sophonpanich family, and Bangkok Bank.

In March 2023, ESR Thailand invested $235 million in two new logistics and industrial projects. The first is located on a 100-rai plot in Rojana Industrial Estate Laem Chabang with a gross floor area of 93,000 square metres, which is slated for completion in 2025.

The second is on 225 rai in Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi. Due for completion by 2026, it has a gross floor area of 253,500 sq m.

Sayarm Tongkrabin, director, investments & asset management, ESR Thailand

Mr Sayarm said Asia Industrial Estate has 2,000-3,000 rai of land available for future development of industrial estates in the Suvarnabhumi area, and ESR Thailand plans to explore investment opportunities in these developments.

"Partnering with a local developer will allow us to expand in Thailand with the help of a partner who has local expertise and knowledge of regulations," said Jai Mirpuri, head of Singapore Development and Thailand at ESR Group.

In Southeast Asia, ESR Group has a total AUM of $11 billion. Of that amount, $6 billion is invested in Singapore. The largest portion of the remaining $5 billion is allocated to Indonesia, with the remainder in Vietnam and Thailand.

"Despite being a new player in Thailand, we are not concerned about existing major players who may have lower land costs," said Mr Sayarm. "The success of the business will primarily depend on finding suitable locations that meet demand."

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