U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC announced it will offer up to 10 million new shares of company stock in an attempt to pay down debt, increase dividends and expand its number of locations. The shares will comprise 7.5 percent of the companys issued share capital and be offered to existing shareholders and new investors.
The companys goal is to achieve an increased payout of 80 percent of adjusted earnings per share beginning with the fiscal year ending March 13, 2014, officials said.
The move would also enable the company to begin development at three self-storage properties, estimated at £14.3 million (approximately $22.6 million).
"We hold the view that on a long-term basis, lower-leveraged businesses produce higher returns to shareholders, while enjoying less volatility," said Nicholas Vetch, executive chairman. "This equity raise allows the board to accelerate its stated strategy of deleveraging while giving the company some flexibility to expand its portfolio of stores and consolidate its brand dominance in London and the Southeast."
Four board members, including Vetch, indicated they would collectively invest up to £320,000 ($505,000) during the share offer.
Big Yellow Group operates 66 self-storage locations in the United Kingdom under the Big Yellow Self Storage brand name, with most concentrated in Greater London. The portfolio comprises 4.2 million square feet.
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