Altrad buys UK scaffolding sales company

By Murray Pollok06 May 2011

Dr Mohed Altrad

Dr Mohed Altrad

Altrad, the French scaffolding and light equipment company, has acquired UK scaffolding, fencing and groundworks specialist Beaver 84 for an undisclosed sum. Beaver 84 was sold by its parent company, SIG Trading Ltd.

Beaver 84, based in Basildon, Essex, employs around 250 people and has a £25 million revenue business mainly selling scaffolding, fencing, shoring equipment, temporary road barriers and other site equipment. Its business also includes some rental activities.

The business will continue to operate from its 11 locations around the UK, with current director and general manager, Steve Tysoe, remaining in charge.

Altrad said the acquisition formed part of a wider plan to provide the UK market with products and services from other Altrad companies, including scaffolding, cement mixers and wheelbarrows.

It added that it would use Beaver 84 to provide "additional services in the scaffolding sector." This means additional Altrad scaffolding systems such as the Altrad Assco scaffolding that is not currently sold in the UK, plus the Metrix branded scaffolding that is popular with some large French contractors. Assco is similar to the Layher system scaffolding.

Altrad had already started trying to sell its Altrad Plettac Contour system scaffold in the UK through its UK subsidiary, Altrad Belle.

Ray Neilson, managing director of Altrad Belle, told IRN there were opportunities for Beaver to sell more of Altrad's scaffolding products in the UK, and that Belle would continue to sell the Contour product. He said the two UK subsidiaries, Beaver and Belle, would avoid the situation where both were selling the same products.

The acquisition is the latest of over 50 made by the French company, which was founded and is still run by majority sharefolder and chief executive officer Dr Mohed Altrad. It is also the third acquisition in the UK: in early 2009 it acquired Belle Group, the concrete mixer, compaction and concreting equipment manufacturer, and in 2002 acquired concrete mixer company Baromix.

Located in Montpellier, France, Altrad is already very strong in the scaffolding sector in mainland Europe through its Altrad Plettac business, and it also has industrial scaffold contracting businesses in France and elsewhere.

The company said 2011 would be a record year and that the business, having been "resilient even through a deep recession", was now ready for "another substantial phase of growth, both organic and through acquisitions."

Altrad said it was actively seeking other acquisition opportunities in the scaffolding and concrete equipment sectors. Belle's Ray Neilson told IRN that Altrad might be interested in scaffolding sales companies or scaffolding contractors. "Don't rule anything out", he said.

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