London, Oct. 12, 2020 – Heitman LLC (“Heitman”), a global real estate investment management firm, today announced the acquisition of Space Station, a 10-facility UK self-storage business with locations across London and Birmingham, on behalf of Sunsuper, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds. Heitman acquired the company in an off-market transaction from its existing owner, who operated the business since its creation in 1983.
Heitman, an investor in self-storage since 1996, plans to expand the UK-based platform through the acquisition of additional self-storage assets and businesses across the country. In addition to aggregating a portfolio of UK self-storage assets, value-creation strategies will be implemented to the platform through operating system and process upgrades together with property improvement and expansion initiatives.
“We are pleased to add the Space Station platform to our portfolio of self-storage assets,” said Caleb Mercer, Heitman Managing Director of European Real Estate Investment. “There is significant opportunity within Europe to add value to self-storage portfolios as the sector continues to mature across the region.”
Heitman manages more than $5 billion of self-storage assets across the globe. Specific to the UK and Europe, a Heitman-managed investment vehicle owned 51% of the region’s largest self-storage operator, Shurgard, for more than 10 years prior to its IPO in 2018.
“Heitman has a global track record investing in self-storage, beginning with the sectors infancy in the US and continuing through to its institutionalisation,” said Tony Smedley, Heitman Managing Director and Head of European Private Equity. “European self-storage is now at a similar stage to the early inclusion of US self-storage in institutional portfolios. Investors stand to benefit from the growth of the sector in this region and through the implementation of value-creation strategies.
“We see significant latent value in self-storage and adjacent specialty sectors, given their demand drivers are delinked from the broader economy. As we continue through this cycle, we believe there are exciting value-add opportunities across the UK and European region and we will continue to take advantage of dislocated markets to grow our investment portfolio of specialty real estate assets.”
The seller was advised by JLL’s Alternatives capital markets team.
Founded in 1966, Heitman LLC is a global real estate investment management firm with approximately $43 billion in assets under management. Heitman’s real estate investment strategies include direct investments in the equity or debt capitalization of a property or in the securities of listed and publicly traded real estate companies. Heitman serves a global client base with clients from North American, European, Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific institutions, pension plans, foundations and corporations and individual investors. Headquartered in Chicago, with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, Heitman’s more than 325 employees offer specialized expertise – from a specific discipline to local insight.