Real estate investment firm Heitman LLC has acquired 10 Space Station Self Storage facilities in England. The off-market transaction was made on behalf of Sunsuper, an Australia-based superannuation fund. Heitman intends to grow the portfolio through acquisitions and site expansions, according to a press release.
“We are pleased to add the Space Station platform to our portfolio of self-storage assets,” said Caleb Mercer, managing director of European real estate investment for Heitman. “There is significant opportunity within Europe to add value to self-storage portfolios as the sector continues to mature across the region.”
Heitman first invested in self-storage in 1996, thereafter pursuing joint-venture partnerships with large, established operators. It once owned a majority stake in Shurgard, Europe’s largest self-storage brand. In 2018, the company acquired a 75 percent interest in 112 Simply Self Storage properties through a joint-venture with National Storage Affiliates Trust, a U.S.-based real estate investment trust. Heitman currently manages more than $5 billion in self-storage assets worldwide, the release stated.
“Heitman has a global track record investing in self-storage, beginning with the sector’s infancy in the U.S. and continuing through to its institutionalization,” said Tony Smedley, Heitman’s managing director and head of European private equity. “European self-storage is now at a similar stage to the early inclusion of U.S. self-storage in institutional portfolios. Investors stand to benefit from the growth of the sector in this region and through the implementation of value-creation strategies.
“We see significant latent value in self-storage and adjacent specialty sectors, given their demand drivers are delinked from the broader economy,” Smedley continued. “As we continue through this cycle, we believe there are exciting value-add opportunities across the U.K. and European region, and we will continue to take advantage of dislocated markets to grow our investment portfolio of specialty real estate assets.”
Founded in 1983 by owner Alastair Caldwell, Space Station operates seven facilities in London and one each in Birmingham, Slough and Uxbridge, England. It also provides free moving services for new tenants.
Sunsuper is a profit-for-members fund. As of October 2019, it had 1.4 million members and $70 billion in funds under management, according to its website.
Founded in 1966, Heitman has $43 billion in assets under management, according to the release. Its real estate investment strategies include direct investments in the equity or debt capitalization of a property or in the securities of listed and publicly traded real estate companies.
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