An investment fund managed by SROA Capital LLC, which operates the Storage Rentals of America and Storage Zone brands, has acquired StayLock Storage from investment firm Cequel III and private-equity company Thompson Street Capital Partners (TSCP). The purchase was made through SROA Capital Fund VIII LP. Jefferies LLC served as the financial adviser to Cequel and TSCP. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, according to sources.
StayLock operates 79 facilities comprising 2.8 million square feet of storage in eight states. The company’s 2020 revenue totaled $17.1 million, up from $14.6 million in 2019, a source reported. Its 50 employees are expected to transition to SROA. StayLock CEO Mike Pizzella Jr. will continue in an officer role at Cequel.
The facilities will be rebranded as Storage Rentals of America. SROA also plans to build 500,000 square feet of rentable space in several tertiary markets including Battle Creek, Michigan; Bettendorf, Iowa; and Panama City, Florida.
“Acquiring large, regional operators like StayLock Storage is a core part of our roll-up strategy to open new markets, to overlay our operational expertise, and to send our dedicated in-house acquisitions team into these new markets to continue to bolt on and invest in smaller, independent self-storage operators,” said SROA CEO Benjamin Macfarland III.
Cequel and TSCP combined five companies into a single portfolio under the StayLock brand in 2016. Since then, the joint venture has acquired 22 storage properties comprising 2.8 million square feet in 20,000 units.
“Our investors, managers and employees did an outstanding job over the past five years, integrating acquisitions, enhancing operations and customer service, and building StayLock into a company of which we could all be very proud,” Pizzella said. “The underlying strengths of the self-storage industry, combined with the uniquely strong performance of our team, made us an attractive acquisition target to a larger, well-respected aggregator of self-storage assets like SROA Capital.”
Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, SROA is a real estate investment company focused on the acquisition and operation of self-storage properties nationwide. It owns and operates 11 million square feet of self-storage at 242 properties.
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