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Moorfield Group Partners With Stor-Age/Storage King to Amass UK Self-Storage Portfolio

London-based real estate fund manager Moorfield Group has formed a £100 million joint venture with Stor-Age Property REIT, a real estate investment trust that operates self-storage in South Africa and the United Kingdom, to expand Stor-Age’s existing Storage King portfolio. The partnership will focus primarily on London and Southeast England, according to a news release.

Moorfield will be the majority investor through its Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV. The joint venture is in “advanced discussions” on several off-market acquisitions that comprise a mix of potential development sites, turnkey projects and existing facilities, the release stated. The Storage King portfolio is currently 28 facilities across the U.K. comprising more than 1 million square feet.

“The U.K. self-storage industry presents a significant and attractive growth opportunity, and we remain encouraged by the consistent performance of the Storage King business this year, despite the backdrop of uncertainty and a muted economic environment as a result of COVID-19,” said Steven Horton, executive director of Stor-Age.

Moorfield was attracted to the self-storage industry due to its performance during the global pandemic, noting that rent collection for storage units in Europe has outpaced that of other real estate sectors like logistics, offices and retail. “Self-storage as an asset class has been one of the more resilient during this period of uncertainty and is set to benefit from a number of favorable structural trends,” said Moorfield CEO Marc Gilbard. “With a strong pipeline of assets already identified, we are excited to be launching this latest venture on behalf of our investors.”

Moorfield’s self-storage investments will fit alongside its “alternatives” portfolio, which also includes interests in senior and student housing as well as nursing homes and care facilities for dementia patients, according to the release. The company has been investing in U.K. real estate on behalf of global institutions since 1996.

Headquartered in Cape Town and established in 2006 by the Lucas Family, Stor-Age operates a portfolio of more than 50 self-storage locations, primarily in four South African metropolitan areas. It’s the operator appointed by Stor-Age Property Fund Managers Pty. Ltd. to manage and market the property portfolio owned by Stor-Age Property Holdings Pty. Ltd., and was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 2015.

In addition to self-storage for business and residential customers, Storage King facilities offer managed offices, a packaging shop, shredding and van hire.

Sources:
City A.M., Real Estate Investment Firms Launch £100M Self-Storage Partnership
Moorfield Group, Moorfield Group and Stor-Age Form £100 Million UK Self Storage Joint Venture

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