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Zara Billionaire Bets $700 Million in Move Into US Logistics

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(Bloomberg) — Zara founder Amancio Ortega has spent over $700 million in recent weeks on a series of logistics acquisitions, in what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest bets yet by the Spanish textile tycoon.

Ortega family investment company Pontegadea bought five logistics centers in the US states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas from Realty Income Corp. for about $722 million, in a deal reported by Spanish daily El Pais on Tuesday and confirmed by a Pontegadea official. 

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Those acquisitions come in the wake of previously announced logistics purchases, also from Realty Income, which totaled $183 million. Taken together, the moves mark a strategic step away from Pontegadea’s traditional focus on real estate investments. 

Still, Ortega has made a number of big real estate deals this year, including paying about $500 million for a 64-floor luxury apartment building in New York and agreeing to buy Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza skyscraper for about $1.2 billion. 

Pontegadea ended 2021 with a portfolio of 15.3 billion euros ($15.5 billion) in property holdings, mainly premium commercial real estate in major cities across the world. 

The foray into logistics comes as the Spanish textile giant diversifies more broadly, with a range of deals including an investment in a Telefonica SA-owned subsea telecoms operator and moves in the energy business, in renewable power, electricity transmission and natural gas transport. 

The recently purchased logistics plants have long-term lease agreements with global players including Nestle SA, Inc, and FedEx Corp. 

The bulk of Pontegadea’s income comes from Ortega’s stake in Zara owner Inditex SA, the world’s largest apparel retailer, which owns a range of clothing brands. 

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