Lavendon Buys Wizard

20 March 2008

The UK's Lavendon Group bought Wizard Workspace of Norwich in a deal announced 4 June worth £1.7 (€2.5) million in cash and an additional £0.45 (€0.67) million to be paid a year from now. Lavendon also assumed Wizard's net debt of £8.7 (€12.9) million.

The purchase adds Wizard's fleet of 1300 machines and nine depots to Lavendon's Nationwide Access fleet of 5500 platforms and 42 depots in the UK. Lavendon said the companies will “…take immediate steps to maximise asset–sharing opportunities.” Wizard's 2006 turnover was £8.8 (€13) million with a pre–tax profit of £0.7 (€1.0) million.

Kevin Appleton, chief executive of Lavendon, told AI there are no immediate plans to change the identity of Wizard. He said Wizard was not in financial difficulties, but its two main shareholders had been looking to exit the business. Wizard Workspace's co–managing directors, Andrew Fishburn and Stuart Honeywood, will stay with the business, reporting to Andy Wright, Lavendon's former group development director who has just been promoted to head up all of Lavendon's UK businesses.

Mr Appleton told AI that he would now be spending more time trying to expand Lavendon's continental European businesses in Germany, France and Italy. He said an expansion into eastern Europe was not likely.

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