Article | Intelligent Investment
CBRE’s complex and meticulous expertise delivers a once in a generation outcome
Developing a new building approximately every five years to house their continued growth has meant Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s East Tāmaki site will be fully utilised by 2025 and an additional sizable location was required to establish a second campus.
October 8, 2023
Bruce Catley, CBRE and Paddy Callesen, Savills began the process of securing Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s second campus in Auckland in 2020 after establishing a strong and trusting relationship. Having been appointed by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to act on their behalf (buy side) the team undertook a considered, meticulous and expansive search for the right location options that would shape the next 30 plus years of development for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.
Catley explains, “At the essence of it, Paddy and I built up a huge amount of trust through our chosen approach and working relationship with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. A lot of it was on our word and a handshake, but we knew we could achieve the right outcome for them, though I don’t think anyone thought it would be quite so complex. The mandate was for a large piece of land initially 40 to 50 hectares within Auckland, so we knew the options were going to be limited. The location needed to offer the space for future growth, but as one of the largest employees of graduate engineers also needed to attract and retain current and future employees.”
Taking an essential advisory approach, the team engaged early with the CBRE Research team to identify what potential 40-hectare plus sites were available across Auckland. Zoltan Moricz, Executive Director Head of Research for CBRE says the team undertook a thorough initial broad search across a wide area, “Using both CBRE and third-party datasets and GIS systems we iteratively pared down to a shortlist on the basis of an evolving selection criteria considering location, distance, amenity and site attributes working collaboratively with the client.” This thorough process allowed Catley and Callesen to focus on two or three viable options in South Auckland and they began engaging with the vendors and their agents.
Options were presented to the board and the team given approval to undertake full due diligence process on several sites. Catley and Callesen were part of a team of experts providing specialist advice on the buy process. They introduced a planning expert from Barker and Associates to Fisher & Paykel Healthcare with the aim to deliver confidence and expertise around the prospects of re-zoning the identified sites from urban to industrial. Full due diligence was completed including geotech, environmental, servicing, traffic, sustainability, risk management and legal.
During the process, the preferred location was identified but at the time the land was unavailable. The Fisher & Paykel Healthcare team turned their attention to continue investigating two alternative site options.
When the preferred land became available again Fisher & Paykel Healthcare needed to make a decision to extend the review to include this site and the team began actively engaging with the party that had control of a portion of the subject site. Catley and Callesen explored with them the opportunity to amalgamate further land so together a combined 105-hectare offering was able to be controlled for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.
Due to the size of the land, zoning, and classification of the owner, a proper sales process needed to be undertaken to meet the requirements of the overseas investment office, hence the 105-hectares of future urban land was put to market through Bayleys. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was required to bid and when tenders closed their offer was the successful bid.
“With our current site nearing capacity, we are pleased to take this step towards securing additional land to enable our continued growth,” said Scott St John, Board Chair for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. “We have consistently signalled the importance of long-term infrastructure planning to help us deliver on our sustainable, profitable growth strategy and our aspirations of doubling constant currency revenue every five to six years. To take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we needed more space.”
Once in a generation transactionThe new campus will bring up to 16,000 workers into the area – using public transport, buying houses, and interacting in the local community. The announcement adds confidence to local area investment including grey infrastructure, roading upgrades, schools and more. CBRE had previously brokered a successful agreement to bring Kiwi Property into Drury and with the enormous opportunities the location offers believe it will continue to attract more organisations.
Catley highlights that the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare journey is a positive outcome for New Zealand, “To be able to retain Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s growth story and long-term focus in Auckland is fantastic. Securing 105-hectares in Drury adds strength to the local areas growth which should be forthcoming over the next 10 to 20 years given the nature of existing and proposed infrastructure planning, town planning transportation investment, electrification of the rail new train stations and roading upgrade, along with residential development occurring nearby.”
“This was a once in a generation transaction for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, achieved through long-term trusting relationships, the CBRE experience, resources, and collaboration internally which helped provide our client confidence that they could acquire the quality land they wanted.”
“The level of confidentiality was high as we worked to amalgamate the sites together ready for purchase. If it hadn’t been for relationships and our collective experience, we may not have found them the right site, for us, it was two years of high-risk work – but this was a better outcome for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare than even we anticipated.”
After two years of intense work, what’s next for Catley? “Our team thrive on the high levels of complexity these types of opportunities give us. We are always working to identify the best opportunities for our clients through collaboration, relationships and delivering outcomes that have a significant impact on the industrial and wider market. This transaction shows that there is still capital looking for long-term investment, and with CBRE Capital Markets having transacted over $2 billion of land and investment sales over the last three years we have strong demand from clients for quality properties and large zoned and unzoned land.