David F. Doll, a Public Storage senior vice president, says thatthe company will immediately begin to rebrand the facilities asPublic Storage properties upon completion of the transaction, whichis expected to close in stages during the next several months. Thefirst closing of one property in Los Angeles occurred on April 1. APublic Storage spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the sale was adirect deal between buyer and seller. The seller of the facilities,a California-based private company, was not disclosed.

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The acquisition comes at a time when Public Storage, like allcompanies in the commercial real estate world, is adjusting to thenew realities of the recession. The REIT said in its annual reportfor 2009, for example, that "We have shut down our developmentactivities, both in the US and Europe due to the current level ofrisk inherent in development, uncertain consumer demand for whensuch facilities open for operation, and to preserve capital. PublicStorage also noted in the 10K filing that, "We believe thatexisting self-storage properties may be marketed, at attractiveprices, due to financial or operating stress of their owners whichmay create acquisition opportunities for us."

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Despite the difficult capital markets, the REIT said, "Webelieve that we are well-positioned with significant cash balanceson hand, have an expectation of continued internally generated cashflow that can be used for reinvestment, and relatively modest debtmaturities."

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As of Dec. 31 Public Storage had interests in 2,010 self-storagefacilities located in 38 states with approximately 127 million netrentable square feet in the US and 188 storage facilities locatedin seven Western European nations with approximately 10 million netrentable square feet operated under the "Shurgard" brand. Thecompany also owns a 41% common equity interest in PS BusinessParks, which owns and operates approximately 19.8 million rentablesquare feet of commercial space, primarily flex, multi-tenantoffice and industrial space.

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