Archie Norman, a former Member of Parliament and chief executive who oversaw the turnaround of supermarket chain Asda, last week joined forces with U.S.-based Och-Ziff Capital Management Group to acquire British tool rental chain HSS Hire for £310 million (about U.S. $612 million). HSS Hire is the third-largest tool rental company in the United Kingdom.
The acquisition is Norman’s first with his investment vehicle Aurigio Investments. Norman has been looking for a “turnaround” opportunity, after rescuing Asda from near-bankruptcy and later selling it to Wal-Mart for £6.7 million, and later did the same with a telecom company. Aurigio paid 70 percent of the purchase price, with the rest coming from Och-Ziff, Perry Capital, Bank of Scotland Corporate, and RIT Capital Partners.
Norman and HSS chief executive Chris Davies said the company would have the financing to “accelerate a program of transformation.”
HSS was the parent company of since-divested RentX in the United States.