Safestore returns 101m to shareholders

UK self-storage company Safestore is returning £101m to Bridgepoint Capital via a refinancing. Under the terms of the refinancing, Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland will arrange a £237m senior debt placing of which £101m of this capital will be returned to investors.

Bridgepoint took Safestore private in 2003 in a £40m deal. In June 2004 the business acquired Mentmore plc via a delisting in a £209m transaction. Further acquisitions include Access Self Stockage in France in April 2005 and Storage World in the UK in August 2005.

Safestore chief executive Steve Williams said: “In the last three years we have worked to transform Safestore into a major European player in the developing self-storage market. The business reporting these strong half-year results today is substantially different both in terms of its size and geographical spread from the one that we acquired in 2003. Our focus going forward will be on maintaining our store opening strategy, taking advantage of contracting property yields and integrating further add-on acquisitions where appropriate.”