LONDON-Locally-based industrial property REIT Segro, bolstered by last year’s well-timed takeover of British peer Brixton, will seek opportunities in continental Europe this year, seeing the UK now as fully valued. But it remains bearish about the global economy, says CEO Ian Coull.

Segro, the former Slough Estates, has traditionally monitored the balance between UK and mainland European assets to benefit from different real estate and economic cycles. The Brixton acquisition has boosted its portfolio but also tilted it heavily toward the UK.

“On Dec. 31, 2008 our portfolio was by space almost exactly 50-50 Europe and UK,” Coull says. “As a result of the Brixton acquisition it is now 72-28 in favor of the UK. But I never set out a target breakdown between the two. We got to 50-50 because we were investing more in Europe in the two years leading up to the end of ’08 than we were in the UK, simply investing where we thought we were going to get the best returns. So looking forward I’m not saying we’re going to get back to 50-50 this year, next year or the year after. We may well do, but it will be because we have invested our capital in the right place.”

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