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NEW YORK CITY-Just last week, WP Carey & Co. LLC reported a “sluggish” start in first-quarter results, but president and co-CEO Gordon F. DuGan didn’t seem overly concerned and even made reference to this deal, which is the largest in the investment firm’s 30-year history. “The pipeline looks strong,” he predicted, noting that the firm had disclosed in its 10K an agreement to make a $300-million investment.

That agreement is, in fact, a $312-million-lease transaction involving 78 U-Haul retail self-storage and truck rental facilities totaling approximately four million sf. The properties, located in 69 cities in 24 states, were acquired on behalf of Corporate Property Associates 14 Inc., Corporate Property Associates 15 Inc. and Corporate Property Associates 16-Global Inc.–members of the WP Carey Group of income generating, publicly held non-traded REITS.

Under the terms of the two separate bond-type net lease agreements, the self-storage facilities will be leased for an initial term of 20 year and can then be renewed for two 10-year periods. The truck rental facilities will be leased for an initial term of 10 years.

“The lease transaction we provided will enable the conversion of two synthetic leases and has provided Amerco with additional capital following its successful restructuring,” DuGan says.

Jason Fox, a vice president in Carey’s investment department, tells GlobeSt.com that the complex transaction was complicated by a bankruptcy filing last June–the deal, which under normal circumstances would have taken two or three months, took 14 months. “U-Haul is very appealing with impressive management and is a pioneer is new-format storage,” he says. “They provide a stable cash flow.” Approximately 12 to 15 of the properties are located from Phoenix to Las Vegas–areas where there has been a high influx of population growth, Fox adds.

Amerco is the parent company of Republic Western Insurance Co., Oxford Life Insurance Co., Amerco Real Estate Co. in addition to U-Haul, which had a network of more than 14,000 locations in the US and Canada. In total, U-Haul more than 33 million sf of storage space.

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