A U.K. turnaround specialist Rutland Partners has acquired tool and equipment rental business Brandon Hire from Wolseley, its parent company, for £43 million (about U.S. $66 million).
Brandon has 177 branches throughout the U.K., with more than 50,000 local trade and smaller business accounts operating in a range of maintenance, building and service sectors as well as national contracts with larger customers. The business has revenues of about £70 million in the year ended July 31.
Brandon’s senior management team, including CEO Tim Smith, will remain in their current positions. The team has invested in the business along with Rutland.
The company said the decision to sell Brandon Hire was a strategic decision based on the fact that tool and equipment rental is no longer a core business activity for Wolseley U.K.
“We are disposing of the business in line with Wolseley’s stated strategy of focusing on our growth businesses and those with synergies,” said Wolseley chief executive Ian Meakins.
The past two years have been difficult for Brandon Hire, which was acquired by Wolseley in 2006. Brandon closed about 80 branches during this period. Revenues dropped from £80 million to £70 million. However, the company is expected to report trading profits of about £4 million in the past financial year after a series of cost-cutting initiatives.
“Brandon has had a difficult couple of years as it was forced to adapt to market conditions, but Tim Smith and his team have done a great job in managing that process,” said Nick Morrill, managing partner of Rutland.
The deal is expected to close by the end of September.