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LONDON-Billionaire financier George Soros will net pounds 10 million ($15.8 million) from the management buyout (MBO) of self-storage firm Safestore.

Safestore directors led by chief executive Stephen Williams have launched a £39.8m ($62.8) buyout with funding from private equity firm Bridgepoint. The Soros run fund, Real Estate Investors with a 25% stake Safestore, is expected to take the lion share. Property entrepreneurs Nick Leslau and Nigel Wray will get £3.3 million ($5.2 million) through the 8.22% stake held by their private company, Prestbury.

Belazure Acquisitions, the holding company set up for the acquisition, has offered Safestore 44p per share which values the company at £39.8m and represents a 16.4% premium to the value of its assets. Safestore, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) for junior shares, said the deal recognised the latent value within the business and provided an attractive opportunity for shareholders. Belazure has already secured backing from stakeholders of 67% of Safestore’s shares.

Chairman Giles Clarke said: “The independent directors have recommended that shareholders should accept this offer because it offers fair value.” He added: “Safestore shareholders should accept this offer and take cash and certainty today.”

Shares in Safestore spiked by 20% today, rising 7p to 43.5p and 72% higher than the day it first revealed takeover interest. The company was listed on AIM in March 1998 after demerging from parent Safeland. Directors then launched an aggressive site acquisition programme before refocusing in 2001 to concentrate on becoming a more retail-based operation with larger stores in London and the South East.

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