Self-storage specialist Safestore has revealed plans to go public via an initial public offering of its shares.

The UK’s largest self-storage provider today confirmed that it was hoping to join Big Yellow on the London Stock Exchange and has appointed Citigroup and Merrill Lynch to co-ordinate the offer.

Following an aggressive acquisition programme which culminated in the £209m takeover of rival Mentmore, Safestore has become the largest self storage provider in the UK and the second largest in the EU by number of stores. The group operates 79 stores, three of which are business centres, under the brand in the UK and 19 stores under ‘Une Piece en Plus’ in France.

The self-storage sector is one of the biggest success stories among property’s alternative offshoot property classes. Its appeal is underpinned by a simple business model, which is supported by a substantial asset base and strong cashflow potential.

For the year to 31 October 2006, Safestore recorded a 22% increase in

revenues to £64.3m and a 24% increase in EBITDA to £33.5m. As at 31 October 2006, the group’s property portfolio had an estimated value of £475.2m.

Steve Williams, chief executive of Safestore, said: ‘Our store portfolio has trebled over the past three years, both through successful acquisitions and continued organic growth. We believe that Safestore’s distinctive brand and strong operational expertise provide us with an excellent platform to benefit in the fast growing market for self storage in the UK and Europe.’