Heitman breaks Australian real estate record

The Chicago-based private equity real estate firm has teamed up with local operator, National Storage, to buy 20 freehold storage properties and businesses valued at more than AUS$180m in the single largest Australian self-storage deal ever.

Heitman, the Chicago-based private equity real estate firm, has set a new record in the Australian self-storage sector by acquiring 20 freehold storage properties and businesses valued at more than AUS$180 million ($176 million).

It has teamed up with Brisbane operator National Storage to buy the assets in what the companies called the single largest investment in the Australian storage industry to date.

Nine of the properties were bought from APN Fund Management and a further 11 properties from the Investec Property Opportunity Fund (IPOF).

The properties are located throughout Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Hobart and will be operated by National Storage under its current brand.   The portfolio also includes assets operating under the Wine Ark brand which is the leading wine storage service provider in Australia.

Maury Tognarelli, chief executive officer of Heitman, said: “We have executed similar strategies in the US and European self-storage industry over the last 20 years and are pleased now to be able to extend our self-storage expertise into the Australian market with National Storage.”

Andrew Catsoulis, managing director of National Storage said the deals were part of a wider strategy to increase the number of centres owned in Australia from 60 currently to approximately 100 within the next two to three years. Through the partnership with Heitman, National Storage would target the acquisition of existing centres across cities where it already has a presence.