SmartStop Self Storage REIT Is Considering an IPO

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SmartStop Self Storage REIT Inc., which manages around $1.8 billion of assets, is exploring an initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is in talks with underwriters about a potential listing that could occur as soon as this year, some of the people said. Any proceeds raised are expected to fund future growth, one of the people said. No decisions have been made and the REIT could elect to retain its over-the-counter status.

SmartStop representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ladera Ranch, California-based SmartStop describes itself as the tenth-largest self-storage company in the U.S. Its owned and managed portfolio spans 105,000 units or 11.9 million rentable square feet across 155 properties in 19 U.S. states and Toronto.

The company, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer H. Michael Schwartz, reported second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, citing its highest-ever occupancy of 96.3% as well as strong rental rate growth. During the quarter, SmartStop bought storage facilities in Oakville, Canada and Riverside, California. 

“Our acquisition pipeline remains healthy,” Schwartz said. 

Publicly traded storage REITs including Public Storage, Extra Space Storage Inc., CubeSmart, Life Storage Inc., and National Storage Affiliates Trust are all trading at or near 52-week highs.

A listing by SmartStop would follow the public-markets debut of another so-called non-traded REIT. In July, Phillips Edison & Co., an owner of grocery-anchored shopping centers, priced its IPO at $28 a share after exploring options to more widely list its shares.

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