Virgo Investment Group, a private equity firm in San Francisco, is funding the merger of Zippy Shell and 1-800-PACK-RAT. Headquartered in Wake Forest, 1-800-PACK-RAT began in 2001 with a design for a steel, weatherproof, portable storage container. It was nicknamed a “pack rat” because it “could store everything.” The next item of business was to work with experienced heavy equipment manufacturers to design a system to lift and transport the containers without the contents shifting or swaying. The business started with three North Carolina locations, and then, under new management, expanded to operate out of 71 locations nationwide. Zippy Shell, launched in Australia, provides the same type of services. Under the merger, both companies will continue to operate as their own brands. Mark Kuhns, CEO of Zippy Shell, will become the CEO of the merged company at the end of the year, when 1-800-PACK-RAT CEO Bob Poirier will become Advisor and Chief Strategy Officer. All other executive officers will retain their roles and responsibilities with the respective brands.