Big Yellow Group, the storage specialist, has raised £32.9m in a share placing to fund its expansion over the next five years, as it swung to a £71.5m loss affected by a fall in the valuation of its store estate.
The 55-store operation, which relies heavily on the housing market, said that JP Morgan Cazenove had placed 11.6 million shares at 285p each, a premium of 15p above Friday's closing prices. Nick Vetch, the executive chairman of Big Yellow, said: "The placing's proceeds provide us with the financial firepower over the next two to five years to take advantage of the current adverse conditions in the property market." Big Yellow wants to develop seven sites, of which six are in London, at a cost of £53m. David Ross – the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and a director of Big Yellow until he stepped down last year after pledging his shares as collateral against loans without disclosing it – is understood to have invested £250,000.
For the year ended 31 March, Big Yellow posted a pre-tax loss of £71.5m, largely due to a reversal of revaluation gains booked a year ago on its property estate. Its revenues rose 3 per cent to £58.5m.