Blackstone Group to buy Simply Self Storage in deal worth $1.2B: WSJ

Storage units remained strong during coronavirus pandemic, report says

Blackstone Group Inc. BX -0.24% has struck a deal to buy Simply Self Storage from Brookfield Asset Management Inc., BAM 0.06% making a bet on a sector that has remained strong throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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BLACKSTONE STRIKES $4.7 BILLION DEAL WITH ANCESTRY

The private-equity firm’s nontraded real-estate investment trust, known as BREIT, is buying the 8 million square-foot portfolio of self-storage facilities for about $1.2 billion, the two firms said. The deal is expected to be announced Monday.

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In an industry dominated by publicly traded giants such as Public StoragePSA 0.26% Simply’s more than 120 locations across 23 states make it one of the largest private players.

BREIT, which already owns 2.6 million square feet of self-storage facilities, plans to continue to acquire smaller assets in the fragmented industry and run them under the Simply brand, according to Tyler Henritze, head of acquisitions in the Americas for Blackstone’s real-estate group.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone speaks as US President Donald Trump looks on during a strategic and policy discussion with CEOs in the State Department Library in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) on Ap

“The opportunity to acquire a $1 billion-plus storage portfolio, including a brand and a team, is incredibly rare,” Mr. Henritze said.

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He said Blackstone decided to do the deal based in part on the performance of its own self-storage assets. Such facilities are attractive businesses because they require little in the way of capital expenditures, have relatively low turnover and offer the ability to raise rents since they typically don’t represent a major portion of their tenants’ monthly expenditures.

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