Australia’s largest storage company, National Storage REIT (NSR) is now in the market to raise more than A$300m (€178m).

NSR, which saw off three potential takeover bids before the global coronavirus pandemic, said the capital injection would be used to strengthen its balance sheet, replenish investment capacity, and provide additional funding flexibility as it pursued its “next phase of growth”.

The placement is being issued at a fixed price of A$1.57 per stapled security, representing a 7.1% discount to the last closing price of A$1.69 per stapled security on 4 May 2020.

NSR is also raising A$30m from existing shareholders under a security purchase plan.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may provide additional acquisition and development opportunities over the next 12-18 months,” NSR said in a statement.

“With strengthened liquidity, NSR will be in a strong position to capitalise on these opportunities as they arise.”

The statement said that, at present, NSR had approximately A$120m in acquisition and development opportunities under active consideration.

“The self-storage markets in Australia and New Zealand remain highly fragmented, and NSR is well-positioned as the leading acquirer of self-storage assets in these markets,” it said.

Part of the proceeds from the capital raising will be used by NSR to retire debt and boost undrawn debt facilities to a total of A$628m.