Australia self-storage operators Fort Knox Self Storage and StoreLocal Pty. Ltd. will merge to create a $160 million portfolio of 38 facilities along the nation’s eastern coast. The combined portfolio includes 33 Fort Knox locations and five operated by StoreLocal. It comprises more than 115,000 square meters of rentable space, making the resulting company the third largest operator in Australia and New Zealand, according to the source.
"The combined operations with Fort Knox provide us with the opportunity to introduce the first genuinely scalable alternative to the established major brands in Australia and New Zealand in over 15 years," Hans Pearson, director of StoreLocal, told the source.
The merger will position the operator to expand through acquisitions and development as well as third-party management opportunities. It reportedly has several projects currently under due diligence. The group may also pursue an initial public offering and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, Pearson told the source.
Fort Knox officials view the Australian self-storage market as ripe for growth and see the merger as a way to strengthen operations into the future. "Too often customers are price led with unsustainable discounts, and in our experience, this inevitably leads to a decline in service standards," Mark Davidson, management director for Fort Knox, told the source. "This merger will help to give our long-established business the momentum to take the next step interstate."
Fort Knox owns or manages 33 self-storage facilities in Queensland. StoreLocal’s five locations are in Melbourne, New South Wales and Queensland. No timeline was reported for the merger, and it’s unclear if the combined entity will continue to use both operating brand names.
StoreLocal will continue to pursue acquisitions and development through StoreInvest, a managed-funds platform owned by Rob Mactaggart and Pearson, according to the source.
The Australian StoreLocal is unaffiliated with StoreLocal Corp., a co-op of private self-storage operators in Canada and the United States.
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