GLENDALE After $5 billion and the better part of a year, Public Storage Inc. announced Tuesday that it will acquire Shurgard Self Storage Centers Inc. The market leader had coveted Shurgard for years, bidding twice for its Seattle-based competitor. After its $2.5 billion bid last summer fell short of Shurgard’s expectations, Public Storage renewed its focus, upped its offer and finally landed an operator prized for its international portfolio and strong domestic operations. The deal calls for Public Storage to pay Shurgard investors around $65 per share and assume $1.8 billion in debt, totalling $5 billion for the 633-location company. With both companies’ board of directors approving the pact, the merger should be complete late in the second quarter. “It’s been busy for the last few months, that’s for sure,” said Clem Teng, Public Storage’s vice president of investor services. “It was worth waiting. This is a win-win for both companies.” Under the terms of the merger, Public Storage will remain in its Glendale headquarters and evaluate personnel with both companies to decide how to integrate operations. It currently employs more than 4,100 workers, compared with Shurgard’s 2,000. The resulting company will boast a market capitalization of $18 billion, ownership in more than 2,100 facilities. Though Shurgard explored a number of buyers after Public Storage’s July bid, ultimately, none could match the package offered by the market leader. “Shurgard’s advisers had to say there aren’t other white knights out there,” said Jim Chiswell, president of Chiswell and Associates, a Charlottesville, Va.-based consulting firm. “Public Storage was the one who could get it done.” Public Storage’s stock closed down $2.29, 2.88 percent, to $77.17 on Tuesday, while Shurgard’s declined $1, 1.57 percent, to $62.60. [email protected] (818) 713-3738 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!