Safestore acquires remaining 80% share of Benelux Joint Venture

Safestore acquires remaining 80% share of Benelux Joint Venture

LONDON, UK: Safestore Holdings has acquired the remaining 80% of the equity owned by Carlyle Europe Realty (CER) in the Joint Venture formed in 2019.

The total consideration paid to Carlyle was €67m. The total initial cash outflow is €139m and includes the share purchase (€67m), refinancing of the existing borrowings (€67m), transfer tax and other deal costs (€5m) and was funded from the Group’s existing loan facilities. The Joint Venture was acquired based on an enterprise value of €146m.

The Joint Venture was setup in 2019 to acquire and develop assets in The Netherlands and Belgium in order to leverage Safestore’s operating platform outside our core markets. Since then, the Joint Venture has grown to a portfolio of 55,000 square meters (592,000 Sq Ft) of MLA which is currently 74% occupied.

The portfolio is made up of fifteen high quality properties (twelve freehold properties, two ground leases and one leasehold property). Nine properties are located in the Netherlands, six of which are concentrated in the Haarlem / Amsterdam area with additional properties in The Hague, Het Gooi and the recently opened Nijmegen store. In Belgium, two stores are located in the Brussels area, two in the city of Liege and further properties in Nivelles and Charleroi. Safestore has managed the properties since acquisition by the Joint Venture

The Group’s investment is expected to be marginally accretive to Group earnings per share in FY2021/22 and will support the Group’s future dividend capacity. The expected initial yield based on total enterprise value is 3.9%¹ which we expect to grow to Safestore’s normal returns hurdles as the portfolio matures. Post transaction, the Group’s LTV will increase to 31%. Financing capacity under our RCF and Shelf facilities, combined with our cash reserves, is expected to be c. £219m following this transaction.

Safestore CEO Frederic Vecchioli commented: “Combining Safestore’s highly scalable operating platform and development experience with Carlyle’s investment expertise proved to be a successful partnership. We are now exploring further opportunities to work together.”

Marc-Antoine Bouyer, Managing Director on the Carlyle Europe Realty advisory team, commented: “This transaction marks the culmination of a major acquisition and asset management effort through our joint venture with Safestore to assemble an institutional-quality self-storage portfolio of scale with exposure to prime cities in the Netherlands and Belgium. We believe that the market fundamentals for European self-storage remain highly attractive and look forward to working alongside Safestore in identifying further opportunities on the continent.”

Safestore is the UK’s largest self-storage group with 162 stores at 31 January 2022, comprising 129 wholly owned stores in the UK (including 72 in London and the South East with the remainder in key metropolitan areas such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Bristol), 29 wholly owned stores in the Paris region and 4 stores in Barcelona.

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