CLEVELAND-U-Store-It Trust has commenced a public offering of 15 million shares in a bid to raise just under $300 milllion. Including the 2.25-million-sf underwriter’s option, the sale would raise closer to $340 million based on the company’s share price, which finished Friday at $19.87, up $0.23 on the day, and is up another $0.08 in morning trading Monday.

In its related SEC filing, the company says it will use $64.2 million of the proceeds to repay the outstanding balance under our revolving credit facility; $130.8 million as cash consideration for the pending acquisitions; $40.2 million to repay outstanding mortgage loans secured by 37 of our facilities; and, the remainder for acquisition and development of additional self-storage facilities, capital improvements and general corporate purposes.

U-Store-It has been acquisitive lately. In late July, it closed on its acquisition of 3.6 million sf from National Self Storage and the Schomac Group Inc. The transaction, which closed in stages, ultimately included 66 self-stage facilities, four office parks and a mobile home park. The purchase price was $212 million. It was paid with stock, cash and assumed debt.

Between the time the National Self Storage deal was announced and closed, U-Store-It closed on a few other acquisitions, including 863,000-sf in 18 self-storage facilities for $34 million from Liberty Self-Stor Ltd., a subsidiary of Liberty Self-Stor Inc.; six facilities totaling 240,000 sf (rentable) from A-1 Self Storage for $28.1 million; and another three facilities totaling 200,000 sf (rentable) from an unnamed seller for another $14.9 million.

U-Store-It now owns 309 facilities in 25 states totaling approximately 18.8 million rentable sf. The company says it plans to utilize a third party Arizona-based call center, which was previously used by National, to better serve its West Coast facilities.

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