On September 9, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that PeliPartners had advised WDP on the acquisition of the Arad Business Park logistics center. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Adrian Vitelaru, Chief Operating Officer at WDP Romania, to learn more about the acquisition.
CEEIHM: To start, please introduce WDP and its operations.
Vitelaru: Warehouses de Pauw (WDP) develops and invests in logistic properties – warehouses and offices. We offer a wide range of buildings that can take the form of, or are suitable for storage, XXL distribution, manufacturing, cross-docking, high-bay, urban logistics, and the list can continue. Our portfolio amounts to more than 6 million square meters, having semi-industrial and logistic buildings spread over around 270 sites at prime logistics hubs for storage and distribution in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and Romania.
We’re a company that has a customer-driven approach, the high-quality and future-oriented logistics infrastructure we offer facilitates and optimizes our customers’ activities and guarantees quality, sustainability, and continuity. Our in-house specialized teams are the driving forces behind our value creation – being ready to assist and offer support at every step to all our partners with whom we develop long-term relationships.
WDP’s warehouses are smart and flexible houses that help our customers achieve their operational, social, and climate objectives. We construct a sustainable shell around the logistics process. With smart warehouses, #TeamWDP, and innovative entrepreneurship, we create value for our customers and shareholders.
Sustainability represents a key aspect we focus on; a series of initiatives being constantly launched in this direction to support our plans. To name just some of them: our climate action plan, M.A.D.E. for FUTURE, through which we aim to operate net zero across our entire value chain by 2050; WDP Energy, which focuses on energy efficiency and the production of renewable energy; WDP DECARB+, which strives to achieve CO2 reduction with attention to biodiversity.
In Romania, WDP has a strong presence, with more than 1.4 million square meters of built warehouses. Our industrial parks are located across the country in all major urban areas – Bucuresti, Timisoara, Pitesti, Arad, Brasov, Sibiu, Braila, Deva, Constanța, Ramnicu Valcea, and Ploiesti. WDP Romania is the market leader in developing build-to-suit facilities and offering tailor-made solutions for manufacturing, retail, pharma, and logistics companies.
CEEIHM: What was it about the target of this deal that you found particularly appealing?
Vitelaru: The customer is always central to our strategy. Thus, we work continuously on identifying the best logistics properties that can be added up to our portfolio to offer the best logistics solutions. From the first moment, Arad Business Park had two key appealing characteristics. First, its location – it’s a strategic location in an important industrial core, near the border, connected to the west via a highway. At the same time, it has big growth potential for industrial development. Taking these aspects into account, the acquisition came as a natural step for WDP, which is always looking to extend its portfolio to facilitate and optimize our customers’ activities.
CEEIHM: And what are the near-/mid-term plans now, post-acquisition?
Vitelaru: In the short and mid-term, we will focus on the refurbishment of the park – both in terms of the common areas as well as the buildings themselves. In addition, we plan to focus our leasing strategy on accommodating the growth needs of our tenants by creating larger unified premises. For Arad Business Park, our vision remains the same – we’ll continue to develop and provide the best sustainable locations to support our clients’ needs and contribute to helping them reach their objectives.
CEEIHM: What was the most complex aspect of the deal from a legal perspective?
Vitelaru: It wasn’t an easy-to-do transaction, as the park is comprised of several land plots. We had to negotiate more than 80 rental agreements. In addition, the transaction structure represents another complex aspect from a legal perspective, as it was a business transfer, and as we all know, in this kind of transaction many stakeholders must be taken into consideration. But our experience and expertise alongside our partners’ support contributed to successfully closing the deal, despite any complex aspects encountered.
CEEIHM: And why did you pick PeliPartners as your advisor on this deal?
Vitelaru: We have a strong partnership with PeliPartners built over time. We share a common vision, they continue to work side by side with us, supporting us in reaching our objectives when it comes to the acquisition of strategic locations. The acquisition of Arad Business Park is just one of the projects in which PeliPartners assisted us. And just like any other time, they provided good assistance, confirming yet again that they are a trustworthy, dedicated partner.