US-listed Public Storage REIT has withdrawn its A$1.9bn (€989m) bid for National Storage REIT (NSR), Australia’s largest storage company.

NSR told the market Public Storage had said, in the light of the environment following the onset of COVID-19, it had determined not to pursue its offer at this time.

Public Storage made its an unsolicited non-binding indicative proposal for NSR last month. It had sought to acquire 100% of the issued stapled securities of NSR for a cash price of A$2.40 each.

It had begun to undertake non-exclusive due diligence of NSR.

In the days of stock-market turmoil, the share price of NSR dropped from a high of A$2.43 to A$1.22, shrinking its market capitalisation to A$1.4bn.

NSR’s managing director, Andrew Catsoulis, said: “While we spent some time pursuing three unsolicited indicative offers that may have been attractive opportunities to maximise value for our security-holders, we remained focussed on our core business throughout those discussions.”

The other parties were Warburg Pincus*, with an offer of A$2.20 per security, and Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners, which was the first party to make a move on NSR.

It is understood that both Warburg Pincus and Gaw Capital backed away from their offers when Public Storage made its higher bid for the group, which has grown from a small-cap company capitalised at A$230 at the time of listing in 2013 to become Australia’s largest operator, with 167 storage facilities across Australia and New Zealand.

Catsoulis said NSR would continue to focus on its strategy of maximising returns through the company’s diversified revenue streams.

* A previous version of this story stated that ESR, which is owned by Warburg Pincus, was one of the bidders