Sun Communities Chairman and CEO Gary Shiffman conducted a conference call after Tuesday afternoon’s (March 22) announcement that Sun is paying $1.68 billion to acquire Carefree Communities.
The announcement, Shiffman said, “marks another milestone in the ongoing growth and evolution of the Sun portfolio.”
In fact, the publicly traded Southfield, Mich., real-estate investment trust specializes in “finding, acquiring and integrating high-quality portfolios into our company,” Shiffman said.
The addition of 103 RV and manufactured housing communities from privately held Carefree “further improves the quality of our already best-in-class portfolio and reinforces our position as a dominant presence in our industry,” Shiffman said, noting that when the transaction closes by July 9, Sun will beceom the largest owner-operator of manufactured housing sites in the U.S.
Before the acquisition, Carefree was the fifth-largest owner/operator of MH and RV communities in North America.
It’s a huge transaction and adds to the $2.6 billion Sun has spent in acquiring properties since 2011, Shiffman pointed out.
Acquiring Carefree, Shiffman said, “increases our presence in key, high-barrier coastal markets. This includes 78 communitites in Florida and California as well as the addition of two top-ranked RV resorts in North America: Sherkston Shores outside of Toronto, Canada, and Sun-N-Fun in Florida.”
The integration of Carefree’s top-notch RV and MH parks will further increase Sun’s expertise and efficiency in property management and the marketing outreach and call-center efforts which help maximize site-night revenue in the company’s RV parks. “We’re very excited about the transaction,” Shiffman said.
Shiffman declined to take any questions during the call because of all the moving pieces involved in the announcement and transaction at this point, as he put it.