Actualités

Parrédaction Publié Avr 25, 2007

Première conférence self stockage en Espagne

Asociación Española de Self Storage (AESS) avait prévu des visites de sites de self-stockage et des intervenants européens tels que Cesare Carcano, président de Casaforte (Italie), Philippe Peyrot, président d’Annexx (France) et Alexander Ruckensteiner, président de Bluespace (Espagne) ont pu exposer leurs expériences et présenter l’état de leur marché national respectif.

Pour une première, ce fut un succès, de nombreux fournisseurs européens et opérateurs espagnols étaient au rendez-vous, ainsi que de futurs opérateurs.

Parrédaction Publié Fév 18, 2007

Shurgard annule son introduction en Bourse

Shurgard Europe a annoncé sa décision de retirer son offre en souscription publique qui devait être suivie par une cotation sur l’Eurolist d’Euronext Bruxelles. Elle avance  » des conditions de marché défavorables  » pour justifier ce retrait.

Contrairement à ce qui avait été annoncé plus tôt dans la journée l’offre ne sera donc pas prolongée et aucun supplément eu prospectus ne sera publié. Rappelons que l’offre publique de Shurgard était l’une des plus importantes de ces derniers mois en Belgique. La société spécialisée dans la gestion de sites de  » self-stockage  » proposait un maximum de 50 millions de titres (option de surallocation comprise) dans une fourchette de prix comprise entre 12,5 et 15 euros, l’action.

Cela représentait un montant total de 750 millions d’euros en cas de souscription complète au plus haut de la fourchette.

Une très large partie des fonds récoltés (400 millions) aurait dû servir à rembourser son actionnaire principal, Public Storage, en rémunération de la réduction de sa participation au sein de sa filiale. Avec le solde, Shurgard comptait financer ses projets immobiliers et ses acquisitions à hauteur de 50 millions et rembourser une partie de sa dette envers Public Storage pour 124 millions d’euros.

A l’issue du premier trimestre 2007, Shurgard a généré un chiffre d’affaires de 36 millions d’euros (+23%) et un résultat opérationnel net de 17 millions (+58%).

Parrédaction Publié Déc 30, 2006

Bravo aux votants de notre dernier sondage.

Selon le sondage toujours, Shurgard arrive en deuxième position, peut-on parler de suspens ?

A la rédaction, nous avons également mis dans notre peloton de tête Devon, le sentiment est moins partagé par les internautes. Toujours est-il que l’année 2006 semble être elle aussi placée sous le signe du changement.

En effet, vous avez massivement voté pour désigné Box Avenue comme le prochain opérateur de self stockage racheté et vous aviez bien pressenti.
Puisque c’est chose faite, BoxAvenue est passé sous la coupe de Shurgard.

Parrédaction Publié Déc 26, 2006

Shurgard rachète Box Avenue

Shurgard est sous la menace depuis cet été, d’une OPA hostile de la part de Public Storage. Shurgard a décidé de réagir en ouvrant des négociations pour son rachat, avec plusieurs groupes d’investisseurs. D’autre part, la société a décidé de mieux valoriser sa position européenne en rachetant des concurrents. Tout laisse donc à penser que d’autres sites français passeront sous la coupe de Shurgard, dans les prochains mois.

Crée il y moins de 5 ans, Box Avenue a su se hisser au quatrième rang des entreprises de self-stockage françaises. Box Avenue avait 10 sites. Shurgard en reprend 9: 6 en région parisienne, 1 à Lille, 1 à Lyon, et 1 à Bordeaux. Celui de Nantes restant indépendant et conservant la marque BoxAvenue. Avec cette acquisition, Shurgard se retrouve à la tête de 48 sites soit 36% du marché français.

Shurgard rachète les sites de Garde-meuble de Lyon , Paris et Bordeaux, mais pas celui de Self-stockage de Nantes

Parrédaction Publié Oct 25, 2006

Spain Proves Vibrant Soil

Spain has always stood out among countries most considered for self-storage expansion for several reasons: It has dense urban demographics, a booming economy, notable lack of competition and is service oriented. Also, the culture is shifting toward a more mobile lifestyle. The fact the 2005 Self Storage Association of the United Kingdom Conference was hosted in Barcelona was probably not a coincidence.

Over the last five years, a few pioneers successfully introduced self-storage to the Spanish market. Many local entrepreneurs became seduced by the concept and decided to follow suit. Now that major European self-storage operators are finding it increasingly difficult to expand in their respective markets, they’re increasingly looking toward Spain as a likely market.

Although still in its infancy, Spanish self-storage is crystallizing into a distinct industry with a growing number of local operators, the entry of several multiple-site companies, and the 2004 creation of the Spanish Self Storage Association. The SSSA now boasts nine affiliated members with another 15 operators yet to join. Approximately 35 storage sites are open or under construction across the country; the largest operators include Bluespace Self-Storage, Easybox Self-Storage and City Self-Storage.

Initial predictions that storage demand would be strong proved correct. Most operators have a successful fill-up rate, and potential customers throng the cities. Never-ending rows of apartment terraces packed with belongings are a typical sight along the wide avenues of any Spanish city; the urban population is doubtless in need of storage space. Plus, the flexibility of self-storage already greatly appeals to Spaniards.

In spite of this good news, self-storage in Spain has grown slower than expected since its debut five years ago—not in terms of rent-up, but the ability to cater to such keen demand.

Finding suitable properties in Spain has been tremendously frustrating. Larger operators are struggling to keep up with expansion plans and have learned that patience is essential. Not only must developers deal with basic site concerns such as visibility, access and location, they also face obstacles specific to the country.

A primary difficulty is the vigor of the real estate market. The healthy economy, combined with the scarce availability of decent-size industrial buildings, drives up prices in major cities. The average purchase price per square meter for an industrial building in Madrid is €800 and €1500, while one can expect a range of €72 to €100 per square meter annually for a lease transaction.

In addition to ever-increasing industrial-property prices, a rezoning process has been under way in most major cities for five years. It seeks to rid residential areas and city centers of industrial activity, banishing self-storage facilities to a radius of 15 to 20 kilometers.

Although construction and fire-protection issues tend to be a hurdle in any market, Spain is a special case. The kingdom is organized into autonomous regions and the level of competence among local authorities varies. This makes negotiations with town halls and fire departments substantially more difficult for outsiders than for local entrepreneurs seasoned in neighborhood politics.

Further, inconsistent interpretation of the same rules by a city council in Catalonia and one in the Madrid region can be puzzling for any operator intending to have a presence in more than one region.

Nevertheless, expansion isn’t impossible, as seen in Barcelona. Although nowhere near saturation, Barcelona is a competitive market with 12 stores and a handful under construction. Since early 2001, a few tenacious operators have shown they can grow. Bluespace Self- Storage operates four sites and is building another three, mostly in Barcelona and Valencia. [Editor’s note: Shortly before publication, Bluespace bought two additional sites from Easybox Spain.]

In July 2005, Pramerica Real Estate Investors bought the majority of Bluespace for €15 million. Pramerica has invested in the self-storage sector worldwide, including a successful U.K. investment with Big Yellow PLC, and a joint venture with Extra Space Storage in the United States.

City Self-Storage boasts five stores along the Mediterranean coast. Easybox Self-Storage developed the first purpose-built property in a prime location of Barcelona and also opened the first store in the Madrid market, four years ago. Reserva has an excellent third-generation site in Barcelona, and is actively looking for new opportunities in the area.

In the last two years, a multitude of local entrepreneurs have decided to make the best of these conditions and started leasing well-located, smaller buildings (between 1,000 and 3,000 square meters). In most cases, they optimize the net area by installing a dismountable mezzanine and keeping overhead costs as low as possible. Some of these operations, such as Tu Trastero in the northern Madrid area, are already multi-site enterprises; in every instance, facilities are successful and profitable.

It’s also worth noting that a few U.S. self-storage companies have shown interest in the Spanish market. One of them has already purchased properties and will soon start trading. This could be an important development as American operators tend to be more daring and locate their stores further from city centers. Should the public take to the notion of traveling a little further to store belongings, one could easily predict fantastic growth for the industry in Spain. This would be a realistic bet, given the high quality of roads throughout the country.

Forecasting what the Spanish self-storage landscape will look like in the next five years is difficult. Will it transform into its European counterparts, dominated by international big chains? Or will small family-owned operations continue to be the norm?

Much will depend on the impact of potential political changes in the country and the evolution of the real estate market. The industry’s future also depends on the tenacity of site developers to create necessary awareness, and the Spanish Self Storage Association’s continued hard work in promoting our industry and educating local authorities.

Serge Kaouane, a French national, is a pioneer of the Spanish market where he co-founded and was a country director for Easybox Self-Storage until 2004. He has been involved in the industry since 1996, primarily in France and Spain, where he helps entrepreneurs with construction and other aspects of their self-storage projects. For more information, call +34 916573210; e-mail serge@sspeurope.com.

This article was first published in Inside Self Storage http://www.insideselfstorage.com

Parrédaction Publié Oct 25, 2006

Public Storage, Inc. and Shurgard Storage Centers hold a shareholder meeting on

Public Storage, Inc. (NYSE:PSA) and Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. (NYSE:SHU) announced today that they will each hold a shareholder meeting on July 26, 2006. Public Storage will hold its annual meeting of shareholders at 9:00 a.m. (PDT) on July 26, 2006, and Shurgard will hold a special meeting of shareholders at 9:00 a.m. (PDT) on July 26, 2006. Public Storage and Shurgard shareholders of record at the close of business on June 23, 2006 will be entitled to vote at their respective meetings. [

Parrédaction Publié Oct 15, 2006

A Year of Crazy Change in France Sixty-five percent of facilities sold

What a year! The French self-storage market was soft in 2003-2004, but last year was a turning point. Companies that didn’t get it right exited; those that chose the wrong location, developed a business plan based on U.S. ratios, or didn’t have enough financial support. During the last 12 months, 88 sites have been sold, representing 65 percent of all French facilities. After the wave of mergers and acquisitions, the market shows us a new face, with 68 percent controlled by only three corporations: Homebox, Shurgard and Une Pièce en Plus (UPP). Each company still in business now has an expansion plan, which wasn’t the case 18 month ago.

What has changed? Following 2000-2002, a period of strong expansion fueled by U.K./U.S. developers, the companies that looked at their bottom line and didn’t like what they saw reevaluated their plans. Awareness of self-storage services was low in France, so developers had to slow ramp up and proceed cautiously. To reduce construction costs for construction and head offices, they sought better locations and had to keep pace with the market. Those who didn’t adapt were sold. The survivors are now ready to expand because the market is thriving. France is already the second-largest European market, and without a doubt, self-storage will be successful.

What didn’t change? Most new entrants have difficulty finding sites, insurance and especially financing. Obviously, financial institutions need to accept the industry. Lack of capital has contributed to a situation in which most established facilities are owned by large companies.

In April 2005, Une Pièce en Plus bought all French facilities owned by Access, one of the oldest European companies. Seven of the sites were sold by UPP to Armadillo Self-Stockage last summer. Access has disappeared from France, but its English counterpart continues to trade under the name.

Devon Self-storage’s Lyon and Toulouse sites sold to Homebox in March. The facility in Marseille is expected to be bought by Shurgard.

BoxAvenue, which built only conversions, had six Paris sites and four in the province, nine of which were bought by Shurgard in January. Only Nantes stays independent and trades under the BoxAvenue name.

Shurgard was acquired by Public Storage in March 2005. At the time, Shurgard had 46 facilities in France. The U.S sites will be re-branded Public Storage, but in Europe nobody knows that brand, and even if Shurgard is a weird name no French person can pronounce correctly, it seems the brand will survive here. Before the merger, the company tried to buy a maximum of facilities to boost its numbers. The main challenge now is to be profitable.

In August 2004, Safestore bought Bridgepoint, UPP’s parent company. The new owner has strong development plans for UPP. Safestore bought the Access sites in Paris, and is focusing expansion on Paris, where it already has 16 sites. The plan is to open one facility a year.

Homebox has 19 facilities throughout France’s largest cities. The company underwent major changes, developing a sort of franchise for all its sites, which is yielding positive results. New facilities are opening under the franchise agreement.

[b]Now Entering …[/b]

Three-year-old Annexx is focusing on developing third-generation sites in the southwest of France. It owns three facilities in Toulouse, one in Bordeaux and another in Perpignan. Construction plans call for three new facilities annually.

Armadillo Self-Stockage shines as the new meaningful entrant. Armadillo was founded in Scotland by Alister Jack, who started Aardvark Self-storage in 1996 and sold it to Mentmore Abbey in the autumn of 2002. Armadillo is his latest star venture. He joined the French market in 2005 with the purchase of seven former Access sites, three in Paris, three in Lyon and one in Nice. Armadillo intends to expand in France.

Flexi Stockage opened its first site a year ago in Argenteuil near Paris. The company, backed by Irish Investors, has plans to open two sites a year in the Paris area.

More small entrepreneurs are interested in developing self-storage in France. The thinking process goes like this: “I have this not-so-great (or half-empty) warehouse that I’m not sure what to do with. Maybe self-storage is the way to go!” But because this business requires lot of capital, few design large, third-generation facilities. Instead, they develop small facilities from 600 to 2,500 square meters. The stores are usually managed as a sideline to a main business.

The French Self-storage Association has behaved like an elite club. Because it snubs new operators, now it has only three members. That’s 8 percent of all operators, even if the trio represents 68 percent of facilities. The French association has been recently hard-pressed by the European association FEDESSA to change its policy and accept small operators. The change will be difficult but necessary if the association wants to regain credibility and true representation.

France’s population is roughly equal to that of the United Kingdom. According to a recently released Steel Storage study, the U.K. market boasts 976 facilities with more than 100 new ones opening annually. France, with its 138 facilities, is ripe for self-storage. The service is well accepted by the French, but remains five years behind the United Kingdom. Self-storage is a business that blossoms slowly; it takes time for product awareness to grow.

Lately, midsize U.K. operators have shown keen interest in expanding their business into France by acquiring existing facilities; however, what was for sale has been sold. They will have to wait a couple of years before new opportunities arise.

Parrédaction Publié Oct 13, 2006

Le paysage du self stockage français en 2006

Que de changements depuis 2004, cette année pivot où les nouveaux entrants construisirent plus de sites que les pionniers du self stockage. Aujourd’hui, l’essentiel de la croissance vient de ceux qui attirés par le potentiel de ce marché tentent l’aventure. [/b]

A ce jour, on ne compte pas moins de 165 sites de self stockage en activité, mais plus de la moitié sont encore détenus par les Pionniers de ce métier. En 5 ans, le nombre de sites de self stockage s’est accru de 50%. La croissance est en 2006 de 9,7%.

Si les critères principaux du self stockage sont respectés, soit des boxes individuels dont seul le client détient la clé et un accès libre et gratuit, le fonctionnement des sites et les constructions varient considérablement de l’un à l’autre.

Cinq catégories d’opérateurs se distinguent dans ce marché :

[u]Les Pionniers[/u]

au nombre de quatre : Shurgard, Une Pièce en Plus et Homebox et Armadillo (ex Access). Ce sont les derniers survivants de la vague de fusions et acquisitions qui a touché les premiers opérateurs. Ils s’étaient lancés sur le marché du self stockage en France il y a 7 ans, ils ont essuyé les plâtres, ont petit à petit adapté le modèle américain en France et ont fait beaucoup de publicité pour accroître la notoriété du métier.
Ils ont développé un modèle qu’ils dupliquent maintenant sur tous leurs sites. La plupart de leurs bâtiments ne sont pas de dernière génération, ni forcément bien placés, cependant ils se distinguent par la qualité de construction des bâtiments réalisée par des spécialistes et l’importance de la superficie des bâtiments (entre 3.000 et 8.000 m²). On les trouve exclusivement dans les très grandes villes et essentiellement sur Paris, Lyon et Marseille. Leur service est généralement irréprochable et au moins deux personnes sont en permanence à l’accueil.

[u]Les Challengeurs [/u]

tels qu’Annexx, FlexiStockage conçoivent le self stockage de dernière génération, en respectant des règles précises et offrant une gamme de services très large. Leurs sites font de 5.000 à 8.000 m². Arrivés plus tard sur le marché, ils ont su tirer parti de l’expérience des Pionniers. Ils montrent aujourd’hui une belle vitalité. Leur positionnement est aussi sur les grandes villes et leur emplacement étudié. Ils ont pour stratégie de développer une chaine, dans le Sud Ouest pour Annexx et en région parisienne pour FlexiStockage. Leur croissance est très soutenue, + 150% pour Annexx en 2006.

[u]Les Small Business[/u]

comme Stockez-vous-mêmes, ModuloBox ou Box Max, qui proposent des sites soignés, mais de plus faible envergure, 1.000 m² en moyenne, une seule personne à l’accueil, pouvant manager plusieurs sites en même temps, donc moins de services et moins de frais. Leur emplacement est sur des villes de taille grandes et moyenne, choisi souvent par opportunité.

[u]Les Artisans[/u]

, cette catégorie a été dénommée ainsi pour ne pas dire Divers, la typologie des exploitants étant très variée, leur seule caractéristique commune étant le qualificatif d’entreprise unipersonnelle. Dans la majorité des cas, ils aménagent un local existant, entrepôt, atelier, pas forcément bien placé géographiquement, souvent parce qu’ils en sont déjà propriétaires. Ils construisent généralement eux-mêmes le partioning intérieur. Cette activité offre un complément de revenus, un salaire à son gérant.

[u]Les Déménageurs[/u]

dotés de garde-meubles, se lancent aussi dans l’aventure en transformant partiellement leurs entrepôts, afin de mettre des boxes à disposition. De plus en plus nombreux, ils sont attirés par cette extension qui semble logique, de leur activité. Malheureusement avec plus ou moins de succès, leurs emplacements ne sont pas de premier ordre, l’activité est gérée en annexe du déménagement et les efforts spécifiques au self stockage ne sont pas toujours mis en œuvre par manque de ressources.

Catégorie n’entrant pas dans la classification de self stockage, puisque l’essence même de l’activité qui est le box n’est pas respectée. Toutefois, cette activité existe et à ce titre nous la citons.

[u]Les Containeurs[/u]

. Certaines entreprises comme EuroBox et Abri-boxe utilisent des containeurs maritimes disposés sur un parking. Cette forme primitive du self stockage, s’est peut développer en France à la différence de l’Angleterre.

Le développement des Pionniers s’est sérieusement ralenti, seulement quatre ouvertures sur un total de 86 sites. Avec une croissance de 5% en 2006, plus faible que la moyenne nationale il perde peu à peu leur hégémonie sur ce marché. Les small business ont eu une croissance de 30%.

Le marché s’élargit c’est indéniable et les écarts se creusent. Beaucoup ont démarré cette activité ces dernières années, mais les investissements considérables que cela nécessite pour faire ce métier avec un bon niveau de qualité commencent à se faire ressentir. Certains peinent à sortir un salaire décent compte tenu du nombre d’heures de travail, et le peu de notoriété de cette activité auprès des utilisateurs potentiels.

D’autres problèmes surgissent, la responsabilité de l’exploitant sur les biens entreposés, les mauvais payeurs… car quelque soit le niveau d’excellence du contrat, la profession n’étant pas règlementée, les tribunaux règlent au cas par cas et pas toujours à bon escient.

La difficulté de trouver un financement et des assureurs sont les principaux freins au développement de cette activité.

Le self stockage en France a de très belles années devant lui avant d’atteindre les ratios américains ou seulement anglais. L’évolution logique sera la mise en place de règles spécifiques à la profession, afin que le concept soit clairement établi aux yeux des utilisateurs.

Parrédaction Publié Juil 3, 2006

Le rachat de Shurgard est définitif

Public Storage, Inc. (NYSE: PSA) announced today the completion of the previously announced acquisition of Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. (NYSE:SHU) in a transaction with a total value of approximately $5.5 billion. The transaction will further expand the size of the nation’s largest self-storage company with an ownership interest in over 2,100 facilities in 38 states and seven European nations.

All of Shurgard’s shares of common stock have been converted into the right to receive 0.82 shares of Public Storage common stock, Public Storage assumed approximately $1.9 billion of Shurgard debt and $136 million of Shurgard preferred stock has been redeemed. The shareholders of Public Storage and Shurgard approved the transaction at meetings held earlier in the day.

« We are pleased to have successfully completed the transaction combining Public Storage and Shurgard and look forward to the rapid integration of our two companies, » said Ronald L. Havner, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Storage.

Public Storage will retain its headquarters in Glendale, California. Gary E. Pruitt, formerly an independent member of Shurgard’s Board of Directors, will join the Public Storage Board of Directors.

Shurgard common stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange effective at the close of business today.

In connection with the transaction, Goldman Sachs served as exclusive financial advisor to Public Storage, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Preston Gates & Ellis LLP served as its legal counsel. Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking and Banc of America Securities LLC served as financial advisors to Shurgard, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Perkins Coie LLP served as its legal counsel.

Parrédaction Publié Mai 25, 2006

Your storage unit or mine?

Every Thursday evening at around six o’clock, Terence goes to visit his mother in north London. « It’s nice to get away from everything, sit down and have a good old chat with her, » he says, blinking nervously through his bifocals. « Not a lot of people know I come here. It’s something I like to keep to myself. »

Terence, 56, potters off down a long brightly-lit corridor, takes a key out of his pocket and opens a locked door to his left. Beyond is a room, 250 foot square, containing a battered old armchair and an urn containing his mother’s ashes.

He will spend the next couple of hours cocooned in this temperature-regulated box to which nobody else in the world has access. There are no mobile telephones, no colleagues asking awkward questions and no sound other than the shuffle of footsteps or gentle piped music. This, for Terence, is the beauty of the self-storage unit.

He is not alone in discovering the benefits of a steel-bound room of one’s own. Since the first self-storage company opened in Britain 12 years ago, business has boomed. The number of warehouses has increased tenfold, from around 30 a decade ago to more than 300 today.

As property prices rise and housing space gets smaller, more and more people in Britain are renting self-storage units to act as their spare room. It is cheap, too: a 75 sq ft unit rents from around £70 a month. Across the pond where the idea originated, there are more than 40,000 self-storage depots and the industry is worth more than the entire American music business.

Paul Glenister, 41, who set up Easystore, the first self-storage unit in Britain, says: »It’s not an exaggeration to say that the entire industry grows 30 or 40 per cent each year. But it’s not just the figures that make it a great job. You see all forms of human life coming through your doors.

People tend to need storage at dramatic points in their lives, so we get customers going through bad times: divorces or downsizing because they’ve lost their job; and those going through good times: having a baby and needing extra space. »

And, of course, self-storage also attracts its fair share of people going through just plain weird times. At Easystore in Tonbridge, Kent, the units have housed anything from a collection of designer dog jackets to glass-fibre dinosaurs, taxidermist models, diesel trains and a personal collection of 500 shoes.

Warehouse managers have spotted desperate couples using storage units to conduct illicit affairs. The London Ambulance service hires a 2,000 sq ft area in Bow for medical equipment and a premiership football team is said to house its gym in one.

Then there’s the solicitor at King’s Cross who rents his self-storage unit to practise the flute in his lunch hour and the man in east London, who tried to set up an art gallery in his (he wasn’t allowed to).

There’s the man who has soundproofed the walls of his unit to use it as a recording studio and the errant husband in Wells, Somerset, who keeps a vast collection of pornographic magazines in his. Another male customer, unbeknown to his wife, keeps an extensive wine cellar so that he can enjoy a leisurely afternoon’s drinking.

« It’s not just the men, » Mr Glenister says. « You’d be surprised how many wives use units to store, shall we say, racy shopping that they want to hide from their spouses. »

With such a cornucopia of human experience to contend with, the efficacy of a self-storage warehouse relies on the preternatural alertness of the staff.

By Elizabeth Day
http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Self-Stockage.info