Nordic Real Estate Partners Buys SelStor Self-Storage in Sweden

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Copenhagen-based real estate fund manager Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP) acquired the Swedish self-storage company SelStor from London-based venture-capital firm Smedvig Capital. NREP plans to merge the company into its Pelican Self Storage group.

Founded by NREP and M3 Capital Partners in 2009, Pelican is focused on the development, redevelopment, acquisition and operation of self-storage facilities in Scandinavia. It already has 12 self-storage sites operating in Denmark and Finland, with another five openings planned for 2013.

SelStor was founded in 2006 by Michael Fogelberg, former European head of Shurgard. The company has eight self-storage sites operating in Sweden, with two planned for opening in 2013. Smedvig Capital first invested in Selstor in 2008 and has been closely involved in the business.

According to NREP, the combined entities will become the second largest self-storage operator in the Nordics, with an expected 27 sites operating by the end of 2013 and strong ambitions to continue its profitable growth strategy.

"Establishing Pelican in Sweden is a natural extension of our business. SelStor has a strong position in Sweden and a very competent and experienced management team. We are now even better positioned for further expansion," said Pelican CEO and co-founder Claus Mathisen.

“We have strong faith in our ability to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns through identification and focused execution of niche investment strategies in the Nordic real estate industry," added NREP CEO Mikkel Bülow-Lehnsby. "We are naturally pleased that we now have one more data point to support and validate this notion."

“We are pleased with the outcome of this exit, which delivered attractive IRRs and a substantial capital gain, even more so when achieved through such troubled capital markets," said Smedvig CEO Johnny Hewett. "Whilst our intention was a longer term hold, it was immediately clear when we were first approached that Pelican was a strong partner for Selstor. They can now use their combined strength to expand the business into the wider Scandinavian market.”

To date, NREP has focused primarily on modern logistics, necessity-driven retail, self-storage and, to a lesser extent, residential property. It has raised €600 million in capital for these strategies across six funds, through which it has completed close to 100 transactions with a total transaction value of around €1 billion. NREP employs 30 professionals across three offices in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm and is fully owned by its partners.

Smedvig was founded in 1996 and has invested more than £500 million of internal capital. The company invests £2 million to £10 million in fast-growing U.K. and Nordic businesses. Its model is to invest in a small number of businesses each year and work closely with management, providing advice and hands-on support.

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