Seneca Partners has backed a management buyout at Smart Storage Ltd, the Liverpool-based company which provides business and domestic customers with rented storage facilities across the North West.

Seneca has supported managing director Mike Wilson in buying the business from Bridges Ventures in a deal also funded by National Westminster Bank. The consideration was not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, Smart Storage is one of the leading independent self-storage brands in the North West. It has stores in Liverpool, Warrington, Widnes, Bromborough and Preston, and currently employs 16 people.

Mike Wilson joined Smart Storage as financial director in 2007 and took over as managing director in May last year.

Tim Murphy, a director at Seneca Partners who will join the new board as a non-executive director commented: “Smart Storage has an exciting future and we are delighted to have secured this investment. It’s exactly the type of opportunity that Seneca works to identify on behalf of our investment funds. We are looking forward to working with Mike and his team in developing what is an ideal platform for growth in an expanding sector.”

Mike Wilson, managing director of Smart Storage, said: “The self-storage sector is still significantly underdeveloped in the UK and offers a variety of opportunities within the commercial and domestic markets for a growing business like ours to increase scale and profitability. We are delighted to be working with Seneca who share our vision and expansion plans in order to maximise these opportunities, developing the business to the next level.”

Richard Robinson and Sharon Harrison of Napthens acted for Seneca Partners. John Spofforth of O’Connors LLP acted for management and James Burgess of NatWest Bank provided senior debt facilities.

Recent Seneca Partners investments include FJ Holdings, a £23 million-turnover group of companies which make process and flow control equipment for the water and waste water industries from a base in Dudley, West Midlands.

In 2014 Seneca Partners also completed the purchase of Liverpool-based Miton Capital Partners for a consideration of up to £6.4m and the Manchester-based corporate finance business Acceleris.

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