Redefine Properties (JSE:RDF) and Griffin Capital Partners, a leading private equity investment company, have set up a venture to acquire Stokado, Poland's second-largest self-storage operator, to establish a platform to fast-track investment through development activity within this growing sector.

Stokado has established itself as one of the leaders in the self-storage industry in Poland, storing goods belonging to private and B2B customers in around 3,000 units in its dedicated self-storage facilities located in Wrocław, Poznań, Bydgoszcz, Szczecin, Kalisz, Legnica, Zabrze and Zielona Góra. Redefine and Griffin have a successful history of working together in Poland on other projects and the newly-formed venture plans to further expand Stokado’s operations through developing a country-wide network of modern, purpose-built self-storage facilities. Griffin Capital Partners will act as co-owner and asset manager of the platform, while the founders of Stokado will remain involved as the minority shareholders and management team of the company.

Andrew Konig, the CEO of Redefine Properties, sees plenty of upside in the self-storage space as Poland’s economy continues to show exciting growth potential: “This deal leverages the strengths of all parties and opens the door to expansion, diversity and growth in line with Redefine’s focus on strategically allocating capital into areas with upside at low risk. The lack of institutional grade storage space in the expanding Polish market makes this a particularly attractive proposition. We are convinced that this sector in Poland has many years of stable growth ahead of it. ”

Maciej Dyjas, Managing Partner, Griffin Capital Partners, says: “We are actively diversifying Griffin’s portfolio with projects not only in commercial and residential real estate but also in renewable energy and now in a new industry for Poland, self-storage. Our strategy is to seek investment opportunities and growth potential in any sector that we find attractive. The self-storage market is performing strongly, and we see that investors' interest continues to grow. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Redefine Properties while developing a new market in Poland.”

Nebil Șenman, Managing Partner, Griffin Capital Partners, adds: “We are known in the market for introducing completely new and unconventional solutions to Poland. The same goes for the self-storage market, which is nascent in Poland. Poland has less than 4,000 sqm. of self-storage space per million residents, compared to roughly 8,500 in Germany, ca. 22,000 in France, or Spain. We believe the sector offers vast growth opportunities.”

Storage space has grown by 4.8% in Europe over the past 12 months. The Polish self-storage market is still in its infancy, with penetration 2.5 times lower than in Germany and 6.7 times lower than the European average. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% over the next three years. Griffin and Redefine's investment in Stokado will enable the further development of self-storage facilities in the most promising locations in Poland.

Dawid Bechcicki, the co-founder of Stokado, says: “We are welcoming new investors in Stokado with a goal to develop 50 new self-storage buildings over the next 5 years, focusing on major cities throughout Poland and becoming the Polish market's largest operator.”

Klaudiusz Bechcicki, the co-founder of Stokado, adds: “We believe that partnering with Griffin and Redefine, international and prominent players in the market, will bring unparalleled real estate market experience to Stokado and allow us to continue to grow.”

The JV partners were advised by Osborne & Clarke, MDDP, and Olesiński i Wspólnicy.