UK's Safestore Gets A Boost From Private Equity Selloff

Safestore, the UK’s largest self-storage group, could see its shares rerated following private equity firm Bridgepoint’s sale of its 17.9 per cent stake in the company.

Yesterday Safestore announced that Bridgepoint – an investor in the company for the last seven years – had sold its entire interest of 33,684,247 shares in Safestore for 135p each.

The sale led Portuguese bank Espirito Santo – which owns broker Execution Nobel – to advise clients to buy Safestore shares, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Espirito Santo says Bridgepoint’s exit has increased the free float of Safestore to 75 per cent, creating ‘a classic rerating opportunity’, according to the newspaper.

Bridgepoint’s representative on the Safestore board, Alan Lewis, offered his resignation immediately after the sale, but the company refused to accept it and hopes he will stay on in his current role as a non-executive director.

‘On behalf of the board I would like to thank Bridgepoint for its unstinting support over the last seven years,’ comments Richard Grainger, Safestore’s chairman, in a statement. ‘The disposal will enhance liquidity in Safestore’s shares and we welcome the support from our existing institutional shareholders as well as new investors.’

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