Altrad buys Generation Hire in the UK

01 April 2012

Belle's Ray Neilson (left), with Altrad CEO Dr Mohed Altrad.

Belle's Ray Neilson (left), with Altrad CEO Dr Mohed Altrad.

French scaffolding group Altrad has acquired Generation Hire & Sales, a nationwide seller and renter of access equipment. The price has not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, another Altrad scaffolding subsidiary in the UK, NSG UK, has confirmed the acquisition of a much smaller access business, MTD Scaffolding, which is based in the Midlands and specialises in providing scaffolding for social housing sector.

Generation Hire has approximately 220 employees and annual revenues of about £37 million, operating with 14 locations around the UK. It sells and rents non mechanical access equipment, scaffolding, system scaffolding, fencing and some light access products.

Mark Clifford, managing director, and Alan Wilkinson, commercial and financial director, will continue with the business.

The deals continue Altrad's policy of growing its business through acquisitions. In the UK it has previously acquired BarOmix, Belle Group, Beaver 84 and NSG, and altogether the Montpellier-based company has made more than 60 acquisitions, mainly in Europe.

Ray Neilson, managing director of Altrad subsidiary Altrad Belle UK, said; "This acquisition forms part of the bigger plan to provide the UK market with products and services from Altrad, which specialises in the manufacturing and sales of scaffolding, cement mixers and wheelbarrows, together with providing additional services in the
access sector."

Altrad's chief executive, Dr Mohed Altrad, said; "After 26 years of growth, the strategy of the Altrad Group remains to grow the business in a controlled and sustainable manner for the benefit of the customers, employees, shareholders and partners".

The company remains 80% privately owned with the remaining 20% held by the French sovereign fund (Fonds Stratégique d'Investissement or FSI), Arkea and CM-CIC Capital Investissement.

Altrad said that Dr Altrad and Ray Neilson were "very keen" to hear from scaffolding, cement mixers or wheelbarrow related companies interested in joining the Altrad group.

Meanwhile, NSG has recently added Midlands-based MTD Scaffolding to its business. MTD, a systems scaffold specialist, has annual revenues of £3.5 million and employs 60 people. Tracey Hutton, managing director, and Garry Taylor, projects director, will stay with MTD after the acquisition.

Mike Carr, managing director of NSG, said MTD would complement NSG's business and add exposure to the social housing sector and was part of its strategy to expand in the UK; "There is a tremendous opportunity for NSG to expand in the UK organically or through strategic acquisitions of companies with similar activities to provide customers with a full UK coverage as well as the Altrad international support that already exists".

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