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Morgan Stanley AIP to Partner with Brazilian Self-Storage Operator, GuardeAqui

12 February 2014

(PEHub) GuardeAqui, which operates Brazilian self-storage facilities, has entered a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Morgan Stanley will join GuardeAqui’s current partner, Equity International.

Press Release

GuardeAqui, the Brazilian self-storage owner/operator, announced today a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners to advance the growth of GuardeAqui’s operating platform. Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners joins GuardeAqui’s current partner, Equity International, the Chicago-based institutional real estate investment company led by Sam Zell and Tom Heneghan.

“We are very excited to partner with GuardeAqui in this joint venture. We are confident in GuardeAqui’s industry-leading execution and operational capabilities to retrofit and develop self-storage facilities in Brazil, a country with a severe undersupply of quality properties and yet demonstrated, growing demand. We are also pleased to work closely with Equity International in this venture and believe their experience and expertise will be integral to the continuing success of GuardeAqui,” said David Boyle, CIO and Co-Head of the Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners Real Estate group.

GuardeAqui is the leading self-storage operator in Brazil with an established, institutional-quality platform serving business and residential customers. GuardeAqui’s current portfolio includes over 40,000 square meters (approximately 430,556 square feet) of leasable space comprising seven assets: five operating properties in São Paulo, Campinas and Ribeirão Preto, and two properties under development in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

Funds from the joint venture will be used to acquire, retrofit and develop self-storage assets under the GuardeAqui brand, leveraging the company’s pipeline and demonstrated capabilities as a developer and operator; capitalize on the sizable long-term opportunity to supply the unmet demand for storage; and fuel GuardeAqui’s first-mover advantage as the leader in the rapidly emerging self-storage sector. The joint venture will pursue geographic expansion of GuardeAqui facilities in greater São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and other large metropolitan areas of southeast Brazil.

The self-storage sector in Brazil is currently characterized by growing demand and product awareness, yet limited competition consisting largely of single-store operators with mixed-quality properties and insufficient capital for meaningful growth. There are approximately 90 facilities in all of Brazil, most of which are concentrated in São Paulo. By contrast, there are approximately 50,000 self-storage facilities in the United States today.

“The market opportunity for self-storage in Brazil is tremendous, underpinned by limited supply along with favorable demographic trends and economic growth,” said Allan Paiotti, CEO of GuardeAqui. “We are honored to partner with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners to accelerate GuardeAqui’s growth and execute on our pipeline.”

“The investment from a preeminent global institution such as Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners is a testament to GuardeAqui’s platform and demonstrated leadership in this nascent and dynamic sector in Brazil. We look forward to working with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners as we expand the GuardeAqui footprint,” said Tom Heneghan, CEO of Equity International.