Bridgepoint storage deal pays out £101m

European buyout firm Bridgepoint’s buy-and-build strategy in the storage facility sector is starting to pay dividends with the refinancing of Safestore.

Bridgepoint, a European mid-market buyout firm, and its investors are set to bank a £101 million (€146 million; $186 million) cheque from the buyout firm’s investment in Safestore, a self-storage facility operator.

Safestore is planning a £237m senior debt placing. Joint mandated arrangers are Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland. The new funding arrangements will allow £101m to be returned to institutional shareholders, the company said in a statement.

Sole adviser to the company on the refinancing was Merrill Lynch International.

Bridgepoint backed the company in a public-to-private transaction in September 2003 for £39.8 million.

Since 2003 the management team has pursued selective add-on acquisitions for the business. In June 2004 it acquired Mentmore, a rival, in a £209m transaction.

In April 2005, Safestore grew again when it acquired Access Self Stockage in France and Storage World in the UK in August 2005 for an undisclosed sum.

Separately, Safestore has also negotiated significant new capital expenditure facilities arranged by Royal Bank and HSBC