General Electric Co. (GE) has sold itsbusiness for $2.3 billion in cash. If the Storage USA sale is consummated, it would represent the largest self-storage acquisition to date.
A joint venture between PrudentialInc. and REIT Extra Space Storage Inc. (EXR) bought the portfolio, which consists of more than 600 self-storage properties located throughout 30 states. Prudential will provide $1.5 billion for the acquisition.
Storage USA was part of the GE Commercial Finance arm, which is the largest single unit at GE. Storage USA manages more than 31 million sq. ft. with nearly 250,000 tenants. GE inherited Storage USA when it acquired Security Capital Group in 2002. Thewill make Extra Space Storage the second largest self-storage operator in the nation, behind Public Storage Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in 60 days.
While most analysts applauded GE for fetching such a large sum, reactions to the acquisition were mixed. AG Edwards’ analyst John Sheehan writes that “the potential risks far outweigh the benefits” for EXR since “significant integration risks” exist. As a result, AG Edwards has lowered their rating on EXR from Buy to Hold. Shares of EXR were trading at $12.65 on Friday afternoon, down 1.86% from the Thursday close of $12.89.