Investment Group Seneca Backs Management Buyout of UK Self-Storage Operator Smart Storage

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Seneca Partners, a U.K.-based investment-management firm, has backed Smart Storage Ltd. Managing Director Mike Wilson in a management buyout of the self-storage business from Bridges Ventures. Wilson will remain managing director of Smart Storage, which is based in Liverpool, England. Tim Murphy, a director at Seneca, will join the company’s board as a non-executive director, according to the source.

No financial terms were disclosed, but assets controlled by Smart Storage are believed to be worth £5 million, the source reported. Funding was also provided by National Westminster Bank, according to a Smart Storage press release. Founded in 2004, the company operates five storage facilities in Northwest England.

Wilson joined Smart Storage in 2007 and became managing director last year. “The self-storage sector is still significantly underdeveloped in the U.K. and offers a variety of opportunities within the commercial and domestic markets for a growing business like ours to increase scale and profitability,” he said. “We are delighted to be working with Seneca, who share our vision and expansion plans in order to maximize these opportunities, developing the business to the next level.”

“Smart Storage has an exciting future, and we are delighted to have secured this investment,” Murphy added. “It’s exactly the type of opportunity that Seneca works to identify on behalf of our investment funds. We are looking forward to working with Mike and his team in developing what is an ideal platform for growth in an expanding sector.”

Founded in 2010, Seneca provides services to individuals looking for investment opportunities in new businesses. Earlier this year, the firm also purchased Liverpool-based Miton Capital Partners Ltd. for £6.4 million and Manchester, England-based corporate-finance business Acceleris.

Smart Storage operates self-storage facilities in the English communities of Bromborough, Liverpool, Preston, Warrington and Widnes. The company employs 16 people.

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