Virgo Investment Group (“Virgo”), a middle market private equity firm, today announced that its portfolio company Zippy Shell Incorporated (“Zippy Shell”), one of the fastest growing providers of portable moving and storage solutions in the U.S., has merged with 1-800-PACK-RAT, a leading provider of portable moving, portable storage and logistics solutions headquartered in Wake Forest, NC.  Virgo will fund the transaction with a combination of new credit facilities and a significant new growth capital investment. Both companies will continue to operate as separate and distinct brands serving their well-defined and diversified customer bases.

Founded in 2002, 1-800-PACK-RAT provides portable moving and storage solutions and comprehensive logistics services to its nationwide base of residential and commercial customers.  1-800-PACK-RAT has a network of 71 warehouse facilities, reaching a total addressable domestic market of 240 million consumers.  

“This investment by Virgo is perfectly suited to meet our needs as we continue to invest in container assets, geographic expansion and customer service initiatives.  The timing could not be better and by bringing together our collective capabilities and skills we expect to accelerate our growth while maintaining a commitment to exceptional customer service” said Robert Poirier, President and Chief Executive Officer of 1-800-PACK-RAT.

“1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell are highly complementary businesses with diversified customer bases, high-quality management teams and services that cover both residential and non-residential markets.  Both companies have strong shared values rooted in operational excellence and customer service” said Mack McNair, Founding Partner of Virgo.  “We feel this investment creates multiple growth opportunities and we hope to see compelling financial benefits going forward.”

Upon consummation of the transaction, Mark Kuhns Chief Executive Officer of Zippy Shell, will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.  For the balance of the year Mr. Poirier will continue to serve as CEO of 1-800-PACK-RAT. Beginning in 2019, he will assume the role of Advisor and Chief Strategy Officer, working directly with Mr. Kuhns and the company’s Board of Directors.  Additionally, other senior operating executives of 1-800-PACK-RAT will join the combined company in their current positions with no change in responsibilities.  “One of the key reasons 1-800-PACK-RAT selected Zippy Shell and Virgo as its partners, is to preserve and combine top talent from 1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell into the combined organization, which will ensure long-term, successful growth founded on our collective commitment to operational excellence and strong customer service” said Mark Kuhns.

Zippy Shell, founded in 2009, has grown to over 47 branch locations including 6 company-owned branches and 41 franchise locations.  “Zippy Shell’s long distance moving program has significantly contributed to our accelerating growth in recent years and we are excited to be working with 1-800-PACK-RAT to expand the number of locations where we can offer service” said Gareth Taylor, Founder and President of Zippy Shell.  

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisor to Zippy Shell and Virgo and Baker & Mackenzie LLP acted as legal counsel.  England Securities LLC acted as financial advisor to 1-800-PACK-RAT and Arnold & Porter LLP acted as legal counsel.