New Details on the Public Storage Acquisition of Simply Self Storage
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for self storage mergers and acquisitions. On Monday, Public Storage – the most active private-market acquirer since 2019 – and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT) announced an agreement in which Public Storage will acquire Simply Self Storage (Simply). The Simply portfolio comprises 127 wholly-owned properties and 9 million net rentable square feet. An additional 25 properties managed by third parties and consisting of 1.8 million net rentable square feet will be integrated into Public Storage’s PS Advantage® third-party management platform.
The Simply portfolio is diversified across the country, with approximately 65% of the properties located in high-growth Sunbelt markets. Currently, 121 properties are stabilized at 92% occupancy with six in lease-up at 75% occupancy. A look at the regional distribution for Simply is diagrammed below.
Following the announcement, Public Storage posted the following on Linkedin:
During BREIT’s ownership period, Blackstone made investments into the Simply platform that helped the company enhance the quality of its portfolio and management team, significantly increasing Simply’s net operating income. However, all Simply facilities will be rebranded as Public Storage following the acquisition. “Our brand presence, live and online, is so strong and recognizable that there is a significant reason to rebrand [Simply Self Storage],” says Ryan Burke, Vice President of Investor Relations at Public Storage. “Rebranding offers consumer recognition, financial benefit, etc.”
By acquiring Simply, Public Storage expands its footprint as seen in the map below.
In the company’s acquisition overview, Public Storage notes that it expects a 6.25% – 6.75% nominal yield during year three upon stabilization, enhancing Simply’s current 69% direct NOI margin. It also expects to be accretive to 2024 Core FFO per share with accretion accelerating to 1% through stabilization. The company already has a track record of significant margin expansion on stabilized acquisition, including 36 properties acquired for ezStorage in 2021.
Finding the $2.2 billion to secure the deal was not a problem for Public Storage. Since 2015, the company has funded growth with unsecured debt and free cash flow. This acquisition was no different, with Public Storage funding the maneuver through unsecured debt and using senior notes, including its inaugural 30-year senior note offering. “There aren’t many companies out there that could raise $2.2 billion in a few hours,” says Burke. It is expected to close in Q3 2023.
In its Investor Relations report, Public Storage highlighted its “Reputation as a preferred property acquirer with no financing contingencies, execution certainty, and speed to close on a cash basis,” and described the acquisition as a win-win in the transaction marketplace.
MSM also reached out to BREIT for comment. Jeffrey Kauth, Managing Director of Global Public Affairs, stated there was no additional information to share beyond the press release.
The official press release in its entirety is below.
Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) (the “Company”) and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (“BREIT”) announced today an agreement for Public Storage to acquire Simply Self Storage (“Simply”) from BREIT for $2.2 billion.
The portfolio comprises 127 wholly-owned properties and 9 million net rentable square feet that are geographically diversified across 18 states and located in markets with population growth that has been approximately double the national average since 2018. Approximately 65% of the properties are located in high-growth Sunbelt markets. During BREIT’s ownership period, Blackstone made investments into the Simply platform that enabled the company to enhance the quality of the portfolio and management team, and ultimately significantly increased Simply’s net operating income.
Public Storage will deploy its industry-leading brand and operating platform to drive customer recognition and further enhance performance. The Company will integrate an additional 25 properties into its PS Advantage® third-party management platform. By combining the Simply team with Public Storage’s leading platform, the Company will deepen its presence in fast-growing markets, bolster its core strengths, and unlock additional opportunities for growth and value creation.
This acquisition reflects Public Storage’s continued execution of its opportunistic growth strategy. Since 2019, Public Storage has expanded its portfolio by approximately 55 million net rentable square feet, or 34%, through $10.6 billion of acquisitions, development, and redevelopment, including Simply and additional properties previously announced as under contract.
“We are pleased to welcome Simply’s team, customers, and third-party management partners to Public Storage’s industry-leading brand and platform,” said Joe Russell, Public Storage’s Chief Executive Officer. “This acquisition reflects the continued execution of our multi-factor external growth platform, which includes acquisitions, development, redevelopment, expansion, and third-party management. We are pleased to complete this important transaction with Blackstone, which further demonstrates our position as an acquirer of choice in the industry. Blackstone has done a tremendous job of growing and improving the quality and operations of the Simply portfolio over the past few years.”
Nadeem Meghji, Head of Blackstone Real Estate Americas, said “Where you invest matters, and this transaction demonstrates the strong investor demand for the high-quality assets and platforms we have assembled within BREIT. This sale is a terrific outcome for BREIT stockholders and enables us to further concentrate BREIT’s portfolio in its highest growth sectors. Public Storage is a leader in its space and will be a terrific steward of this portfolio.”
The acquisition is currently expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. A detailed presentation is available in the Investor Relations section of Public Storage’s website.
Eastdil Secured served as financial advisor to Public Storage, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Hogan Lovells US LLP acted as legal advisors. Wells Fargo and Newmark Group, Inc. served as lead financial advisors to BREIT, and BMO Capital Markets and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) also served as financial advisors. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as BREIT’s legal advisor.
About Public Storage
Public Storage, a member of the S&P 500 and FT Global 500, is a REIT that primarily acquires, develops, owns, and operates self-storage facilities. At March 31, 2023, we had: (i) interests in 2,877 self-storage facilities located in 40 states with approximately 205 million net rentable square feet in the United States and (ii) a 35% common equity interest in Shurgard Self Storage Limited (Euronext Brussels:SHUR), which owned 266 self-storage facilities located in seven Western European nations with approximately 15 million net rentable square feet operated under the Shurgard® brand. Our headquarters are located in Glendale, California.
About Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust
Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT) is a perpetual-life, institutional quality real estate investment platform that brings private real estate to income focused investors. BREIT invests primarily in stabilized, income-generating U.S. commercial real estate across asset classes in the United States and, to a lesser extent, real estate debt investments. BREIT is externally managed by a subsidiary of Blackstone (NYSE: BX), a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has approximately $333 billion in investor capital under management. Further information is available at www.breit.com.