Brazilian self-storage operator GuardeAqui and Chicago-based investment firm Equity International have added Ranger Co-Investment Fund III as an investment partner. The fund acquired a stake in the companies’ joint venture established in February with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners (AIP). The investment will help GuardeAqui grow its operating portfolio, company officials said in a press release.
Ranger Fund III is managed by LaSalle Investment Management Inc. It’s part of the Ranger Fund Series, representing capital from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). The Ranger funds invest in real estate opportunities around the world.
“We are very pleased to partner with GuardeAqui’s impressive operating team, led by their CEO, Allan Paiotti,” said Dan Witte, managing director of LaSalle. “We are equally confident in Equity International’s experience as an active shareholder of several other real estate companies in Brazil and their identification and execution of this untapped sector in such a large economy.”
The storage operator’s current portfolio includes 10 facilities comprising about 60,000 square meters of leasable space. Seven properties are already operating in Belo Horizonte, Campinas, Ribeirão Preto, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Three additional properties are under development in the São Paulo metropolitan area, officials said.
GuardeAqui estimates there are about 90 facilities currently operating in Brazil, mostly servicing residents and businesses in São Paulo. “The self-storage sector in Brazil is currently characterized by growing demand and product awareness, yet limited competition consisting largely of single-store operators with mixed-quality properties and insufficient capital for meaningful growth,” officials said in the release.
Its partnership with Morgan Stanley AIP has enabled GuardeAqui to acquire, renovate and develop storage properties in Rio de Janeiro and the São Paulo area, according to the release.
“LaSalle Investment Management and TRS are distinguished for their active global investment approach,” Paiotti said. “We are delighted to welcome them as a partner, and together with Morgan Stanley AIP and Equity International, we will continue to execute on our pipeline and expand GuardeAqui’s footprint in Brazil.”
LaSalle is a global real estate investment manager, a member of the Jones Lang LaSalle group and an adviser to Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust. The firm has approximately $53 billion in assets under management. The company is active across a range of real estate capital and operating markets. Its clients include public and private pension funds, insurance companies, governments, endowments and private individuals.
Established in 2000, Morgan Stanley AIP specializes in assisting institutional and high-net-worth investors through the design, integration and management of alternative investment programs. AIP has $36.4 billion in assets under management and advisement and employs more than 200 professionals. It has investment offices in Hong Kong, London, New York and Philadelphia.
Equity International is an institutional real estate investment company led by Tom Heneghan and Sam Zell. Founded in 1999, it looks for high-growth opportunities with companies in emerging markets outside the United States. It has raised more than $2 billion and invested in 26 portfolio companies in 15 countries.