Hong Kong Equity Firm Makes Bid to Acquire Australia Self-Storage Operator National Storage REIT

Hong Kong-based real estate equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has made a nonbinding proposal to acquire Australia-based self-storage operator National Storage REIT (NSR). The offer is to purchase 100 percent of NSR, which operates more than 170 storage facilities across Australia and New Zealand.

“Discussions are, at this stage, preliminary and subject to a number of conditions, and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a final recommended offer,” NSR said in a released statement confirming to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had received the confidential bid.

Gaw is a private-equity fund manager with global interests, specializing in “adding strategic value to underutilized real estate through redesign and repositioning,” according to its website. The offer to take over NSR comes about a month after the firm announced it had raised $2.2 billion for Gateway Real Estate Fund VI, its sixth equity fund. Gaw also secured a sidecar co-investment commitment of up to $800 million, according to a press release.

Though Gaw didn’t mention self-storage in announcing the close of Fund VI, officials indicated the company would “target real estate assets with favorable risk-return profiles mainly in Greater China and with selected exposure in Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Southeast Asia and Australia.” The fund will also consider “operating thematic platforms and pre-IPO real estate companies looking for strategic capital in order to capture specific market trends and address particular needs.”

“We are delighted to be closing Fund VI after a highly successful fundraising round. The commitments we have received are a strong vote of confidence in Gaw Capital’s approach to adding strategic value to a diverse range of underutilized real estate assets throughout the Asia Pacific region and its ability to deliver value for investors,” said Christina Gaw, managing principal and head of capital markets for Gaw Capital. “Our increased expansion into thematic platforms such as data centers, healthcare and education-related real estate platforms are very welcomed by our investors. These are followed by our successful execution in other existing thematic portfolios such as retail outlet malls and logistics. The fund serves as an important investment vehicle for investors looking to get exposure to this high-growth region while achieving portfolio diversification.”

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. The company has advised its shareholders to not take any action regarding their company investments. "NSR remains fully committed to acting in the best interests of, and maximizing value for, NSR security holders," officials said.

NSR ranked No. 11 on the Inside Self-Storage 2019 Top-Operators List for facility owners. It’s owned portfolio comprises more than 9.5 million square feet.

Founded in 2005, Gaw has raised $16.5 billion in equity and had $23 billion in assets under management at the end of the second-quarter 2019, according to its website.

Sources:
Deal Street Asia, HK’s Gaw Capital Offers to Buy Australia’s Largest Storage REIT
National Storage REIT, Receipt of Non-Binding Indicative Proposal
Gaw Capital Partners, Gaw Capital Partners Successfully Completes Final Close of Gateway Real Estate Fund VI at US$ 2.2 Billion

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