THE BOTTOM LINE
Stor-Age proves specialised real estate packs a lot of heat
The only self-storage property services group on the JSE has quadrupled its portfolio since listing in 2015
There may be merits in listing specialised real estate companies instead of large diversified companies that own a mix of property types such as office, retail and industrial.
But fund managers will only be prepared to put money into specialised funds that already have a good track record and which do not need large amounts of money to reach a stage where they compete with established counters.
Stor-Age stands out as a specialised fund which has been a success since it listed at the end of November 2015. The company, which is the only self-storage services group on the JSE, has grown its portfolio from R1.3bn at listing to more than R5bn.
The company has also made promises it has kept. CEO Gavin Lucas, who started the private storage business with his brother and father about a decade ago, developed a long term acquisition plan from the get-go.
It is now the largest storage property owner in SA. As much as 70% of its R5bn portfolio is local, with the remainder in the UK. The group has also created an advanced operations platform which it uses for its assets here and abroad.
Compare Stor-Age with other specialised groups that have tried to come to market without clear strategies or assets of a high enough quality.
Over the past two years there was talk of several specialised student accommodation listings coming to market. These haven’t materialised and critics believe that in some cases they were poorly run and merely attempting a listing to gain access to capital.