citybiz+ Zippy Shell Sells $180M in Preferred Equity to Carlyle Group, Gets Debt Facility from JP Morgan

The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) has announced an investment of $180 million in Wake Forest, N.C.-based Zippy Shell, one of the largest containerized moving and storage companies in the United States.

The Washington, D.C.-based firm’s investment in preferred equity builds on ties with Zippy Shell since 2020, when it bought $20 million in equity and handed out a $75 million second lien term loan. Alongside Carlyle Group’s investment, JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) led a new first lien debt facility, helping Zippy Shell refinance its existing debt and fund strategic growth initiatives.

“Since the start of our initial partnership with Zippy Shell in 2020, we have been continually impressed with the management team and the company’s demonstrated ability to grow,” said Carlyle’s managing director, Matt Settle, who was handed a board seat. “Zippy Shell is a market leader in the containerized moving and storage space and we’re confident in their ability to continue taking share.”

Founded initially in Australia in 2007, Zippy Shell established operations in the United States in 2010. It has raised $365 million from investors, according to Crunchbase. In 2018, it merged with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

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Last year, Zippy Shell was in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held firms in the United States. With a three-year growth of 80%, it was placed 4836 on the list.

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“Our partnership with Carlyle over the last several years has enabled our company to successfully scale and reach new customers. We’re excited to partner with Carlyle once again given their reliability and creativity in helping Zippy Shell achieve its goals,” said Zippy Shell CEO Mark Kuhns, a former Under Armour and US Airways exec. With an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Kuhns previously served as CEO of On Campus Marketing.

Carlyle managed $186 billion in assets as of March 31. It provides private credit, including senior secured loans, unitranche loans and junior debt.