UK Self-Storage Operator Smart Storage Deploys Expansion Plan With Funding From Seneca Partners

Smart Storage Ltd., a Liverpool, England-based self-storage operator, recently acquired two properties and announced improvements to an existing facility as part of a £2.65 million expansion plan funded by U.K.-based investment-management firm Seneca Partners. The new locations in Altrincham and Liverpool, England, will add about 64,000 rentable square feet to the Smart Storage portfolio and open in the first half of 2016, according to the source.

Smart Storage Ltd., a Liverpool, England-based self-storage operator, recently acquired two properties and announced improvements to an existing facility as part of a £2.65 million expansion plan funded by U.K.-based investment-management firm Seneca Partners. The new locations in Altrincham and Liverpool, England, will add about 64,000 rentable square feet to the Smart Storage portfolio and open in the first half of 2016, according to the source.

Seneca backed Smart Storage Managing Director Mike Wilson in a management buyout of the self-storage business from Bridges Ventures in May 2014. The two new facilities will be the operator’s first since 2008, the source reported. The improvement project for the company’s Widnes, England, location includes self-serve, drive-up units.

"We have more store locations on the horizon, and we have ambitious growth plans,” Wilson told the source. “Seneca shares our vision and expansion strategy giving us the opportunity to develop the business to the next level to service the demands of both domestic and business customers.”

"When we first backed Mike and his team with the [management buyout], the strategy was always to use the business as a platform for growth. We have invested further in the people and have looked at several acquisition opportunities, which for a variety of reasons were not a good fit, mainly because they had too high a reliance on leasehold facilities,” added Tim Murphy, a director at Seneca. "Consequently, we have focused efforts on locating suitable ‘greenfield’ freehold units that we can develop to our design. If we continue to grow as anticipated, there is every possibility that an IPO will be considered during 2016."

Founded in 2010, Seneca provides services to individuals looking for investment opportunities in new businesses. In 2014, 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.

Sources:

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