Dear readers,

Location3 magazine - July 20, 2021

Case numbers are falling, rules are being relaxed, life is becoming somewhat easier. There is a collective sigh of relief in this summer of 2021, and we are all looking forward to the regained freedoms, and to hopefully returning to normal life. This was made possible by incredibly talented, curious, and eager scientists, and an energetic and innovative pharmaceutical industry. Together with political  leaders and the logistics industry, they acted swiftly and decisively. They all deserve our sincere  gratitude.

A period of great efforts lies behind us at VGP: It was enormously challenging for our experts to meet
deadlines in the development of projects that had already begun. Supply chains were disrupted, leading to bottlenecks in the procurement of construction materials, while at the same time demand for  completed, leasable space continued to grow. The growth of e-commerce is a tremendous opportunity for VGP, as it leads to increased demand for available space for clients in this sector. But even a segment as traditional as the automotive industry, which relies on future trends such as electromobility, needs new spaces. This increases the demand for available land plots, combined with enormous price increases, especially near the city centres.

Fortunately, the economy has recovered in most European countries, expert forecasts at leading research institutes are positive, and we continue to successfully complete our projects on schedule. The number of newly signed contracts paints a clear picture while we continue to grow. We currently have around 1.1 million m² under construction, over half of which is in Germany. A further 500,000 m² are already planned, much of which space is already pre-let.

In parallel to the ongoing business, we at VGP place a great deal of emphasis on strategic considerations. Where do we want to go? Where do we see ourselves in the coming years? VGP is heading into new countries in Europe, new markets, such as last mile logistics, and new product segments. We are expanding our portfolio because we want to offer our customers more products and services. There is tremendous potential in the construction of sustainable buildings, and in the generation of “green electricity”. Power Purchase Agreements (socalled PPAs), i.e. long-term purchase contracts at fixed prices for  reengenerated electricity, for example from offshore and onshore wind power as well as photovoltaic installations, are becoming increasingly important. These usually have a term of 5–15 years and offer long-term opportunities to continue operating existing facilities economically or to build new facilities.

We are venturing into the acquisition of “brownfield” sites, such as in Giessen, Heidelberg, or Sestao near Bilbao, where we acquired the site of a former shipyard including the existing production facilities, dry docks and offices – a true Spanish icon. And we broke new ground with our financing. With the  recent issuance of a 600-million-euro international green bond, we were able to diversify our financing mix. The high demand for the issuance of these “green bonds” has shown us that sustainability is also  becoming increasingly important to investors.

Last but not least, we have expanded our “VGP family”, now to over 300 employees. I want to extend a warm welcome to all those who have joined us and wish them a successful start and future in our company. Our aim is to quickly integrate their talents into our business. I wish us all a wonderful and safe summer.


Jan Van Geet