UK rental company A-Plant has acquired Lion Trackhire for £38 million (€42.5 million) and plans to merge the business with its temporary access specialist operation Eve and re-brand the combined business.

At the start of 2017, Lion and Eve, 90,000 panels and 400 experts between them, will be rebranded Live. Dale Robinson, who left Eve to found and run first TPA then Lion, will manage the business.

Richard Thomas, managing director of the specialist products division at A-Plant said, “It’s a bold decision to consign names such as Eve and Lion to history, but we want all our staff, as the shop window of the business, to feel equally proud of the brand. A new brand is the best way of ensuring that happens.

“This is a merger of equals. It’s two big, strong businesses coming together, combining a huge amount of skills, knowledge and expertise and we’re going to be a very compelling, solution-based proposition for our customers.

“Dale, who has built and grown TPA and Lion will lead Live, bring it together and grow the business further. We as A-Plant take pride in the fact that, while we’re a big company, we give entrepreneurs like Dale the freedom to flourish.”

And Mr Robinson added, “We’re going to put all the equity we’ve got behind us and move forward as one great business. Our customers will definitely see the benefit, not least because of the huge quantity of high quality of trackway panels, fences and barriers we can offer.

“Furthermore we see real scope for growth in supply of trackway in this country to transmission and construction projects. HS2 is going to be a huge for temporary access, by way of example.”

Meanwhile, A-Plant said its investment would see more aluminium panels coming on stream and a concerted effort to grow Lion’s German business under the Live banner and develop a European market, which it said had been slow to adopt an engineered trackway solution.

A-Plant has made a similar commitment to Eve’s barrier and fencing division, which includes the iconic Super Fortress Fence used at Glastonbury Festival and will be another telling part of the Live portfolio.

While Eve and Lion will continue to trade for the rest of 2016, the new brand will be unveiled at the Showman’s Show in Newbury this week.

On 1st January 2017 Live, formerly Lion Trackhire and Eve will become part of A-Plant’s Specialist Products division, which will comprise of A-Plant Accommodation, PSS Hire, FLG Services, GB Access, Leada Acrow and Live.

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