South Africa’s largest self-storage property fund and brand Stor-Age has secured a minority stake in Easistore, a four-property self-storage facility based in the United Kingdom (UK), through a joint venture with investment management giant Nuveen Real Estate.
The JSE-listed Reit Stor-Age informed investors on Wednesday that it has contributed £4.4 million towards the acquisition, earning it a 10% equity interest in the partnership, while Nuveen Real Estate will take up the rest.
The group which already has a presence in the UK under the banner of the Storage King brand says the joint venture will allow it to expand its footprint in the UK while also offering “an attractive return on invested capital”.
“The acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a high-quality self-storage property portfolio in locations which complement the existing Storage King portfolio, providing additional scale to the platform from both a financial and trading perspective,” the group said.
The 22 500m2 Easistore acquisition is described by the group as a “predominantly modern, bespoke, purpose build” property, with stores in the portfolio located in Crawley, Edenbridge, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells in the UK.
“We’ve built a strong foundation in the UK under the banner of our Storage King brand, which is enabling us to pursue significant growth on all fronts in a nimble manner,” Stor-Age CEO Gavin Lucas said.
“Our JV with Nuveen and the acquisition of Easistore demonstrates the strength, competitiveness and sophistication of our platform.
The agreement allows for the properties to be branded and managed by Storage King under its third-party management platform – Management 1st.
To fund the acquisition, Stor-Age and Nuveen have entered a debt funding agreement with retail banking group Natwest, which will provide a £41.0 million interest-only facility with a term of five years.
This acquisition will bring the number of properties the group owns, manages or has trading under the Storage King brand in the UK to 39 by the end of the year.
Locally, Stor-Age says it has five new developments or major expansion projects underway and once concluded – along with those in the European markets – will have 55 000m2 worth of new space added to its portfolio in the 2024 financial year.
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