Cache Logistics makes first Australian acquisitions
Cache Logistics Trust has announced it has entered into separate sale and purchase agreements to acquire three distribution warehouses in Australia for AU$70 million.
The total acquisition cost is approximately AU$75.6 million including stamp duty and other transaction expenses. The properties are being acquired from McPhee Development, Larapinta Logistics and Sonton.
McPhee Distribution Services will leaseback an initial 60.6 percent of the total area of the properties from the date of closing, increasing to 83.2 percent from April 2018. Strategically located on freehold land with a total gross letting area of approximately 56,601 square metres (609,253 square feet), and in established locations with easy accessibility to ports, airports and/or city centres, the portfolio of three distribution warehouses will be 100 percent leased to high quality tenants such as McPhee Distribution Services, Linfox Australia and Stirling Holdings for 9.7 years.
The proposed acquisitions mark Cache’s first investment in Australia, leveraging on growth in major trade and distribution cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Daniel Cerf, Chief Executive Officer of the parent company, said: “This strategic investment into Australia is in line with the Cache’s growth strategy to provide our unitholders with long-term stable distributions. The addition of three quality distribution warehouses on freehold land will not only strengthen the portfolio, but also provide income and geographical diversification.
“These, being our first acquisitions in Australia, further demonstrate our interest in continuing to grow Cache accretively and in a prudent manner. We are pleased to have found a good partner in our dealings with McPhee Distribution Services and would like to thank them for the opportunity to work together.”
McPhee Distribution Services, established since 1923, is a fourth generation Australian-owned transport family business which specialises in providing warehousing and distribution services in Australia. Linfox is Australia’s largest privately-owned logistics company that is rapidly expanding throughout Asia and New Zealand, and boasts more than 23,000 staff in ten countries.
Jay McPhee, Managing Director of McPhee Group of Companies, commented: “The McPhee Group is very appreciative of the strong, positive working partnership with Cache Logistics Trust. As the McPhee Group continues to expand in Australia, we hope to strengthen our relationship with Cache on other potential business opportunities.”
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Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.