Improvon-Actis joint venture set to disrupt logistics and warehousing market in sub-Sahara Africa
Improvon Group, one of South Africa’s most established logistics and warehouse property specialists, is poised to disrupt the sector in key sub-Saharan distribution markets, following a recent joint venture with Actis.
“The joint venture allows us to leverage Improvon’s expertise as a prime logistics property developer and Actis’ extensive knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa real estate markets.
“We see South Africa, Kenya and Zambia as key distribution hubs to the rest of the continent. Especially East Africa is experiencing strong consumer demand and infrastructure development on the back of a buoyant economy, which underscores the case for logistics and warehouse developments,” commented Stefano Contardo, Group CEO at Improvon.
Improvon’s substantial 480ha (4 800 000m2) land bank is strategically located close to key infrastructure nodes across South Africa’s major metropoles as well as in Lusaka, Zambia and Nairobi, Kenya.“We are bringing something unique to the market, not just from a development point of view, but also in our approach,” explains Contardo.
“The face of warehousing and logistics property is changing, with especially multinationals consolidating into single facilities combining multiple offices, logistics and warehousing operations under one roof to achieve economies of scale and operational efficiency.
“Our clients today want to be able to walk from the executive boardroom to the distribution floor, so you need an asset that has the amenities for corporate use as well as the characteristics to facilitate the unique demands of logistics and warehousing. They are also very conscious of the environmental footprint of these facilities and expect a design that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
“Marrying these demands create a unique challenge, and Improvon is uniquely positioned to leverage our expertise that will change the way warehousing and logistics has worked until now.”
Apart from an existing portfolio of specialised warehousing and logistics properties, Improvon is currently developing several different tracts of land, each specifically designed to accommodate clients’ needs, ranging from FMCG requirements to specialist logistics and distribution facilities accommodating chilled and cold chain networks.
Improvon is also responsible for the development of York Commercial Park, the first AAA rated industrial park of its kind in Lusaka, Zambia. The 40ha park recently saw the completion of the first 5 000m2 development, and boasts key tenants including Global Roofing Solutions and Bakers Logistics. A further 4 800m2 speculative development is underway along with 6 800m2 mini unit park designed to accommodate users from 500m2 to 1 200m2.
In Nairobi, Kenya, widely regarded as the logistics gateway to east Africa, Improvon recently concluded an agreement to develop the 42ha Northlands Commercial Park. This AAA-grade warehousing, logistics and distribution park is situated on the Eastern Bypass and set to break ground during the first quarter of 2018. The location is strategic to Nairobi’s 2030 spatial development plan and will accommodate turnkey projects accommodating tenants from 2 000m2 up to 50 000m2 as well as land sale options.
“Our partnership with Actis allows us to think out of the box when it comes to creating customised solutions for corporates. We are the only specialist in the industry with the in-house ability to develop, build and manage these kind of assets, providing our clients a one stop solution.
“The joint venture positions us as an ideal partner to multinational companies’ long-term logistical and warehousing needs in sub-Sahara Africa,” concludes Contardo.