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News Release

JLL advises on largest ever UK Self Storage transaction

US self storage operator StorageMart acquires Big Box Self Storage for in excess of £100 million

​London, 21st October 2016 – US operator StorageMart has completed the acquisition of Big Box Self Storage for in excess of £100 million in the largest ever single transaction in the UK.

The portfolio has 15 stores, totalling nearly 700,000 sq ft of self storage across the south east of England.

New stores have recently been developed and opened in Tonbridge, High Wycombe, and Colchester, adding to stores in the Brighton area as well as Maidstone, Norwich, Ipswich and Walton-on-Thames. The business employs over 50 staff.

StorageMart is the world’s largest privately owned storage company with 189 storage facilities and 14.3 million square feet of rentable storage space in the US, Canada and now the UK. The Burnam family have been in the self storage business since 1973.

Cris Burnam, President of StorageMart, commented: “Big Box is an important entrance into the United Kingdom for StorageMart. We plan to use the substantial self storage platform to grow within the UK. These are great locations in solid markets, and we look forward to applying our technology platform and revenue management strategies at these stores.”

“Our goal is to bring UK self storage customers a much easier to use and more friendly, stress-free customer experience with world class service.”

Ollie Saunders, Lead Director, Alternatives at JLL, added: "There was strong interest in the portfolio from a variety of investors who were attracted to a sector which has demonstrated predictable cash flows and is benefitting from rapidly increasing consumer awareness. Strong user demand and increasing urbanisation are key factors driving the boom in the self storage market and opening up opportunities for old and new investors alike.”

“Big Box is a great platform for StorageMart to enter the UK market - at a point when it is poised for further consolidation and new store development.”

Joe Guilfoyle, Head of Alternatives Corporate Transactions, JLL said: “This deal cements JLL’s leading position in advising on Alternative assets in the UK. This was a complex corporate transaction involving cross border investment. Not only is this deal noteworthy because of its size, but also because it occurred despite the headwinds from the EU referendum, further demonstrating the resilience of the sector.”
Debt funding was arranged by JLL’s Debt Advisory team, who used their knowledge of key funders and sector awareness to help secure financing from Blackstone Mortgage REIT.

Recent research from JLL and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) highlighted that:

  • The UK market has 16.5 stores per million population, compared to 157.4 stores in the United States
  • Self storage remains a highly fragmented industry with the top 10 brands in Europe only representing 25% of the total size of the industry
  • The UK is the largest European market with nearly 40% of all self storage facilities

The vendors were advised by JLL and asb Law and the purchasers by Clifford Chance.