Abacus Property Group, an Australia-based, publicly traded, diversified real estate investment trust (REIT) with interests in office, residential, retail and self-storage properties, has incrementally acquired a 7 percent stake in rival self-storage operator National Storage REIT (NSR). The move is noteworthy because Abacus had acquired a 4.6 percent interest in NSR last year before three other companies submitted bids to acquire NSR, according to a source.
Abacus began to purchase more NSR shares in March, one day after the last of the three contenders withdrew their purchase offers due to market uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, NSR raised $300 million in capital but blocked Abacus from participating because the board doesn’t view its “direct competitor” as a “supportive, long-term bidder of NSR securities,” officials said in a statement.
Abacus hasn’t publicly revealed its long-term intentions in regard to NSR, but its recent activity could reignite speculation about the potential sale of the company, a source reported.
To date, Abacus has invested $105 million in NSR, according to a source. It deployed more than $600 million in capital during the first half of its 2020 fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31. Those moves included a series of acquisitions and joint ventures in the office and self-storage sectors, with those investments now comprising 92 percent of its portfolio. In all, 32 percent of its assets are in the self-storage sector, a source reported.
As of June 30, Abacus owned and managed 70 self-storage assets comprising 320,901 square meters, according to its website.
NSR is the first independent, internally managed and fully integrated owner and operator of self-storage centers to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. It ranked No. 11 on the Inside Self-Storage 2019 Top-Operators List for facility owners, with an owned portfolio comprising more than 9.5 million square feet.