Alligator Self Storage, a Scottish self storage chain, has announced that it plans to expand into two or three more sites this year. It has already acquired 12 new locations over the past several months, thanks to the tireless efforts of founder Alister Jack. Jack financed the acquisition of the 12 new locations, which came from Australian investment bank Macquarie, with 20 million from Merrill Lynch (through Bank of America).
“We have the ability to finance the acquisition of more sites,” Jack told Scott Reid of Scotland on Sunday yesterday. “We would like to buy two or three in the next year, though there’s quite a bit to do in terms of integrating the latest sites.”
Alligator Self Storage is the United Kingdom’s second biggest independently operated self storage firm, and it is the third self storage chain set up by Alister Jack, who has been in the business of starting and selling self storage chains for the past 15 years. Jack previously started Aardvark and Armadillo Self Storage. He sold Aardvark in 2002, to the company now known as Safestore, and selling Armadillo to HSBC in 2007. Almost immediately after selling Armadillo, Jack started Alligator, telling an interviewer for The Scotsman, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” He told the same interviewer that one of his favorite “tips for success” was Andrew Carnegie’s statement, “the wise man puts all of his eggs in one basket, and then watches that basket.”
Adding to his comments about the site acquisitions yesterday, Jack said, “People often ask me if the UK self storage market is near saturation and the answer is no. The industry in America offers six square feet of space per head of population and in the UK we haven’t even achieved a quarter of that.”
The Self Storage Association of the UK says that over the past five years, the growth of the self storage industry in Great Britain has held steady at between eight and 15 percent growth each year. Jack agrees, noting that rental rates are heading back up toward their 2006-2007 levels after a short lull.