The FTSE 250 self storage company, today announced it had called an EGM to seek shareholder approval for conversion to a REIT

The company has been in long-term discussions with HM Revenue and Customs to clarify that the rental income generated from its self storage business would qualify for REIT status.

While discussions are still ongoing, the company; which was set up by Nick Vetch, Philip Burks and James Gibson in 1998, have decided to begin the conversion process in a bid to preserve the expected benefits from the earliest date.

In an impressive trading update released this morning, Big Yellow boasted a 19% increase in year-on-year fourth quarterly revenues to £12.9m. Revenues generated for the year to 31 December were up 15% to £48.9m, with occupancy at Big Yellow’s 44 loactions up 6% to 1,748,000 sq ft (162,453 sq m) at the end of the fourth quarter.

James Gibson, chief executive, said: ‘In the event that we succeed in our ambitions we believe the conversion to REIT status will be of significant benefit to shareholders creating an enhanced level of future dividends in a more tax efficient and transparent structure. In addition we believe that the self storage industry as a whole will benefit from the creation of a growing specialist REIT sector, with improved access to capital, driving further development of this relatively young market.’

Big Yellow Group listed on AIM in May 2000 and moved to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange in 2002.