Global real estate developer and fund manager Hines has made its debut in European self-storage investment by acquiring a three-asset portfolio in the UK.

Hines, which is investing on behalf of its latest European value-add real estate fund, bought the portfolio in the southeast of England comprising 1,449 self-storage and office units across three trading assets in Ashford, Chatham and Ebbsfleet from a local private family proprietor.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Hines said it has tapped UK self-storage operator Storage King for portfolio management and branding.

The manager said the deal by Hines European Real Estate Partners III (HEREP III) is expected to pave the way for further acquisitions, developments, and repositioning opportunities across the continent.

HEREP III’s initial focus will be on the UK market, but Hines plans to broaden its reach into other European markets over time, aiming to build a portfolio over £200m (€232.3m) in value.

Greg Cooper, managing director and head of UK industrial and logistics at Hines, said: The nascent UK self-storage sector is propelled by long-term demographic and consumer trends likely to drive increased demand in the years to come, particularly in densely populated commuter towns in the South-East of England.

“Combining Hines’ six decades of experience as an active asset manager and developer and Storage King’s position as a leading operator in this sector, we believe we have the perfect partnership with which to build a new growing offering in the market.”

Paul White, senior managing director at Hines and fund manager for the HEREP series, said: “As always, we are first and foremost focused on the fundamentals story. In self-storage, especially in the UK, we see rising, unmet demand meeting highly constrained supply.

“From an investment perspective, the sector remains highly fragmented. This is the right moment to channel time and effort into aggregating a meaningful, high-performing platform, as an agent of the inevitable consolidation in the space. We’re excited to see where this theme can take us, in the UK and beyond.”

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