ProLogis

  • Overview
THE SCOOP

Industrial leader

ProLogis (formerly ProLogis Trust) is the largest real-estate investment trust operating in the acquisition, development, marketing, operation and ownership of a global network of industrial distribution facilities.  The company does acquisition and development of warehouses for more than 4,500 customers, including MolsonCoors and Unilever.  ProLogis also has in possession 1,500 properties, a quarter of publicly-traded ProLogis European Properties and 10,000 acres of land held for development in Asia, Europe and North America.  Business is organized into two primary operating segments: property operations and the corporate distribution facilities services business (CDFS business).  The property operations segment includes the long-term ownership, management and leasing of industrial distribution facilities.  The CDFS business segment represents the development of industrial distribution facilities that are either sold to unaffiliated customers or contributed to real estate funds in which ProLogis maintains an ownership interest and acts as manager.  ProLogis’ more than 2,750 properties span 75 markets throughout Asia, Europe, Mexico and the United States; major tenants include Sears, Caterpillar and DHL.

Logical growth

Begun in 1991 as Security Capital Industrial Trust, the company first made waves in the industry by focusing exclusively on meeting local and regional real estate and distribution needs of customers.  Out of this business practice produced the ProLogis Operating System, which today has grown to include 830 real estate professionals covering customer service needs on a global scale.  The company changed its name to ProLogis Trust in July 1998 (later shortened to ProLogis) and acquired Meridian Industrial Trust in March 1999, thus substantially growing its presence in the logistics market.  By that point, ProLogis had expanded into foreign markets in Mexico and the Netherlands, its first steps toward global domination.  Next up was expansion into Asia via the July 2001 establishment of an office in Japan; distribution space and development rights soon followed in China.  The deals paid offâ€"by 2003, the company had been added to the S&P 500 Index.  ProLogis grew again in August 2004 through the $1.7-billion purchase of Keystone Property Trust through a joint venture with Eaton Vance Management.  The deal added 137 new properties in key U.S. markets (Indiana, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) and expanded ProLogis’ portfolio to excesses of $14 billion.

Catalyst for development

Jeffrey Schwartz took over CEO duties from K. Dane Brooksher at the start of 2005; Brooksher held onto his role of chairman.  Schwartz was formerly ProLogis’ president of international operations and president and chief operating officer of Asia operations.  Meanwhile, Asian business got a boost in May 2005 with the purchase of 26.7 acres near Beijing Capital International Airport, which ProLogis used to develop four distribution facilities.  ProLogis’ ultimate deal, though, came in the form of a June 2005 purchase of rival Catellus Development Corp. for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.  The merger created the world’s largest network of warehouses and distribution services, and added 3.2 million square feet of industrial-operating space to ProLogis’ holdings.  The company looks to Catellus’ presence in high-growth markets to accelerate expansion plans for the company’s global development and fund business.

Towards the end of a volatile decade

The year 2008 proved to be a tumultuous year for ProLogis, whose share price fell more than 90 percent that year.  The real estate investment firm had to cease its expansion strategy because of its debt that also caused the firm to cut its dividend by more than half to stay afloat.  Apart from these difficulties, ProLogis Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Schwartz announced his resignation at the end of 2008.  The concept of borrowing heavily to acquire rivals and pursue ambitious speculative construction of industrial properties worldwide came from Schwartz and it backfired when the economy became unfavorable to investors.  Cedrik LaChance, a senior analyst at Green Street Advisors, saw this coming.  “I didn’t think it would unravel this quickly, but the reality is that ProLogis was overleveraged and counting on good economic times,†he said.

ProLogis became vigilant in its efforts to recover from a bad year.  With a new CEO in Walter Rakowich and a new chairman in Stephen Feinberg, the firm resolved to cut costs by 20 percent to 25 percent and halted new construction beyond the $8.2 billion of projects in its development pipeline.  The firm’s ratings also improved as Moody’s changed its outlook on the firm from negative to stable.  In 2009, ProLogis announced that it was able to complete two financings for a total of approximately â'¬133 million, which will be relocated to pay debt incurred by the ProLogis European Properties Fund II’s warehouse line of credit.  “These financings show the improvement we are seeing in the secured debt market in Europe,†said ProLogis chief financial officer William E. Sullivan.  He added, “While still challenging, ProLogis’ attractive assets make it possible to raise debt at reasonable prices.â€

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ProLogis


4545 Airport Way
Denver, CO 80239
Phone: (303) 567-5000
Fax: (303) 375-8581
www.prologis.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: PLD
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO: Walter C. Rakowich
  • 2008 Employees: 1,480

Major Office Locations

  • Denver, CO

Key Financials

  • 2008 Revenue: $5,655 million

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