Safestore Holdings plc (LON: SAFE) have announced today that it is to form Joint Venture with Carlyle to enter Dutch Self Storage Market/ Separate acquisition of London Store.
Joint Venture Highlights
· Safestore and Carlyle European Real Estate Fund form Joint Venture to acquire M3 Self Storage, an operator of six prime storage locations in Amsterdam and Haarlem in the Netherlands.
· Safestore to invest in a 20% equity stake on completion for a consideration of c. €5m and to provide management services to the joint venture. Completion is anticipated to take place by the end of August 2019.
· Safestore expects to earn an initial return on investment1 of 8% before transaction related costs for the first full year reflecting its share of expected JV profits and fees for management services.
· The transaction is expected to be earnings accretive from completion.
· The JV intends to invest in further development and acquisition opportunities.
London store acquisition
· Separately, the Group has completed the acquisition of a 34,000 sq ft freehold store located near Heathrow Airport for £6.5m. The transaction is expected to be immediately earnings accretive.
Frederic Vecchioli, Safestore Holdings plc Chief Executive Officer commented:
“Since 2016, Safestore has successfully invested or committed c. £180m in 38 stores, acquisitions and new developments in its core markets of the UK and Paris which are delivering consistent strong returns. We expect to continue to develop and acquire in these markets.
The Group has developed a multi-country highly scalable platform with a leading marketing and operational expertise in self-storage. The acquisition of M3 represents an excellent platform for entry into the attractive Dutch self storage market and we expect that our JV with Carlyle will enable us to target additional selected development and acquisition opportunities.
We look forward to working with Carlyle, and to developing a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
I am also delighted with the acquisition of our new Heathrow store which consolidates our position as the leading self-storage operator inside London’s M25.”
Joint Venture with Carlyle and Acquisition of M3
Safestore is pleased to announce it will be investing in a 20% stake in a joint venture with Carlyle to invest in carefully selected self-storage opportunities in Europe. Safestore has developed a highly scalable platform in self-storage built on leading marketing and operational expertise. This platform is proven to work across geographies and Safestore sees an opportunity to leverage the platform in regions outside its existing footprint in the UK and Paris.
Safestore’s initial equity investment in the JV will amount to c. €5m. Safestore will also earn a fee for providing management services to the JV. The cash consideration, funded from the Group’s existing resources, will be payable on completion of the acquisition of M3, which is expected to happen by the end of August 2019.
M3, which will have assets with an unaudited proforma book value of €21.5m at the date of completion, has six prime locations in Amsterdam and Haarlem with one of the sites currently under construction. The three stores in Haarlem are all freehold whilst two of the Amsterdam stores are subject to perpetual Ground Leases. The third Amsterdam store is a leasehold store with nine years remaining on the lease. The construction of the sixth store is in the process of being finalised and completion of the acquisition of M3 will take place shortly after this store is opened. On completion, the business will have 25,700 sq metres (277,000 sq ft) of MLA and an occupancy of 68%.
The Dutch self-storage market is the fourth largest in Europe2 with 303 stores and 9.6m sq ft of MLA. This represents 0.56 sq ft per head of population which compares to 0.68 sq ft per head in the UK, 0.19 sq ft per head in France and 9.4 sq ft per head in the USA.
The Group’s investment in the JV is expected to be immediately accretive to Group earnings per share from completion and will support the Group’s future dividend capacity.
Acquisition of Heathrow Store
In addition, Safestore has acquired Salus Services Ltd, the owner of a 34,000 sq ft MLA freehold store from Rockpool Investments for £6.5m in cash, funded from the Group’s existing resources. The store is currently branded and operated by Ready Steady Store and is located on the Parkway Trading Estate near Heathrow Airport to the west of London.
The store, which opened in 2015, is currently trading at an occupancy of 86%. The Group anticipates that the first year initial yield will be c. 5.5%.
The Group will rebrand the store and take over operation of the site with immediate effect.