Brookfield Asset Management Considers Buying Simply Self Storage for $830 Million

By Alex Hassel,

IPE Real Estate reports that Brookfield Asset Management is closing in on the purchase of the company for $830 million. The news is said to have leaked from an Orange County Employee Retirement System board meeting document.

Brookfield is a Toronto-based global alternative asset manager with around $225 billion in assets, focusing on areas like property, renewable energy, and infrastructure. The asset manager reportedly wants to buy Simply Self Storage for its Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners II fund, which it uses for acquisitions and investments in real estate, distressed loans, and securities.

Brookfield is said to be making its investment in several steps. IPE claims that the company will first invest $300 million, and then another $200 million. Simply Self Storage will reportedly use the funds to seek growth opportunities like acquiring individual, small to medium-sized portfolios in secondary markets. There are also plans to finance new developments in primary and secondary markets. Simply Self Storage, which IPE says owns and operates 90 self storage properties in the United States, will keep its management.

Despite IPE’s report, companies seem to be keeping quiet on the deal. Andrew Willis, Senior Vice President of Communications and Media of Brookfield, told, “Brookfield has not announced a transaction and has not put out a press release. Our corporate policy is to never comment on market speculation. In keeping with that policy, we have no comment.” Simply Self Storage has not responded to our inquiries.

Inside Self-Storage found a report in Brookfield’s interim third-quarter 2015 report that says the company “committed or deployed” around $5 billion in various investments in the quarter. “We also agreed to acquire a North American self storage company with 90 locations and an enterprise value of $800 million and hope this can be a cornerstone investment for growth of a larger national business,” Brookfield officials said in the report.

The Orange County Employees Retirement System initiated the report, as it was looking into investing in the Partners II fund. IPE reports that Brookfield has about $5 billion raised out of the $7 billion it’s seeking. The Simply Self Storage deal is part of $2.8 billion in investments Brookfield has already committed to for Partners II.

Simply Self Storage is one of the largest privately-owned self storage management companies in the United States and Puerto Rico. CEO Kurt O’Brien founded the company, which is headquartered in Orlando, Fla. In the U.S., you’ll find stores in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.