Canadian pension fund agrees to buy PODS

Al Harris
Published December 22, 2014

Portable moving and storage provider PODS is getting a new owner.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has struck a deal to buy the company for an undisclosed sum. The deal is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. In September, Reuters reported that a sale of PODS was being explored, with the company being valued around $1 billion.

PODS’ current owner is Arcapita Inc., an Atlanta-based investment firm that’s part of Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank. Since Arcapita Bank and its affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012, PODS has been managed by Atlanta-based private equity firm Eagle Merchant Partners. Eagle Merchant tapped Barclays PLC to find a buyer for PODS.

Arcapita bought PODS in 2007 for $430 million.

Long-term play

Since its founding in 1998, Clearwater, FL-based PODS has grown to 150 corporate and franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. PODS has about 1,000 corporate employees worldwide. Its headquarters will remain in Florida.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension fund in Canada, with $140.8 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2013. The PODS deal was pursued by the pension plan’s Long-Term Equities Group, which focuses on “direct investments with steady cash flow.”

“We are impressed with the PODS management team, growth trajectory, position in the marketplace and strategies to increase market share,” said Lee Sienna, vice president of the pension plan’s Long-Term Equities Group. “Our access to capital and focus on long-term returns will help drive sustained growth for PODS.”

Al Harris

Alexander Harris is a reporter covering the business of self-storage. He obtained his degree in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. He loves reading Elmore Leonard novels and listening to classic country music. You can call him Al.

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