Terra Firma eyes second deal

Terra Firma Capital Partners is reported to be in talks to buy Mentmore, the London-based specialist storage group that is currently valued at around £155m.

A source close to the negotiations confirmed that Terra Firma Capital Partners is in talks with Mentmore, the storage firm.

Mentmore has undergone considerable restructuring over the last year. Earlier this month, it agreed to sell a 49.9 per cent stake in records management business Iron Mountain Europe to its joint venture partner for £82.5m. In July 2003, it sold its serviced business space division to Ashetenne Holdings for £189m less debt.

In choosing to focus on the personal storage market, Mentmore believes it is now well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities. The company runs a portfolio of 53 sites in the UK and France providing self-managed storage for personal customers and small and medium sized businesses.

The acquisition of Mentmore would be the second deal to be completed from Terra Firma’s debut fund, which held a E1.7bn second close in September 2003 ahead of a planned E2bn final close early next year. The first deal was the acquisition of Waste Recycling Group for £315m in July.

In October Terra Firma, which is headed by charismatic financier Guy Hands, saw financial managing director Matthias Moser quit to join Fortress Investment Group. This came after the previous departures of senior executives Jennifer Dunstan, Mark Tagliaferri and Peter Middleton.