Self storage giant to acquire rival in £378m deal

Fast-growing self-storage firm Lok’nStore has been acquired by Shurgard in a £378m deal.

AIM-listed Lok’nStore first opened in 1995 and has grown to have a portfolio of 43 stores across England and Wales, including Bristol, Exeter, Kettering, Leicester, Oldbury, Salford and Wolverhampton.

Shurgard, the largest developer, owner and operator of self-storage will double its UK presence through the acquisition, gaining 171,000 sq m comprising 121,000 sq m of operating stores and 50,000 sq m of secured development pipeline.

The pipeline will allow Shurgard to increase its footprint in the South East and Manchester, which it called “the two most attractive target markets outside of London”.

Lok’nStore sites will add to Shurgard’s 1.4m sq m of space across 276 stores in seven countries.

The deal however, which is subject to a vote among Lok’nStore’s shareholders, could lead to job losses. Shurgard said it would likely cut “the majority of roles” in Lok’nStore’s administrative and head office following an evaluation of operations. It will align Lok’nStore with its model, placing fewer staff at each site.

Around 76% of Lok’nStore assets are purpose-built, with 43% of the portfolio built since January 2022. The acquisition also brings with it income from 17 stores under a management contract with one management contract store in the pipeline.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Lok’nStore shareholders will be entitled to receive 1,110 pence in cash for each share.

Marc Oursin, chief executive officer of Shurgard, said: “We are excited about our ability to acquire, develop, and expand in the UK alongside our other European markets.”

Andrew Jacobs, chair of Lok’nStore, added: “Lok’nStore’s board believes the offer represents significant value for Lok’nStore’s shareholders, recognising the quality of Lok’nStore’s real estate portfolio and operational strength. Over the years Lok’nStore has built a unique portfolio of purpose-built self-storage assets.

“We believe that integrating Lok’nStore’s assets and operations into Shurgard is highly complementary considering Lok’nStore’s asset locations and positioning in its markets.”

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