Souter Investments, the family investment office of Sir Brian Souter, has backed the acquisition of Fork Rent Limited and One Call Hire Limited. The combination of these two family-owned businesses will create one of the UK’s largest providers of rental equipment to the construction industry.
Fork Rent and One Call have complementary sector exposures and product ranges. While Fork Rent has a greater involvement in the residential market, One Call has a larger footprint in the infrastructure and commercial segments.
The deal was originated and headed by Duke Street and Searchlight. The transaction value has not been disclosed.
Calum Cusiter, an Investment Director at Souter Investments, commented: “We are delighted to support Duke Street in their acquisition of Fork Rent and One Call. This is our third co-investment with Duke Street and we are confident that Fork Rent and One Call will have a bright future.”
Stuart McMinnies, a Partner of Duke Street, said: “We are delighted to be combining two of the highest quality service providers in the fragmented UK hire market. The anticipated strong growth in both the housing and infrastructure sectors will allow this business to expand in both product and geographic terms and we look forward to working closely with the Companies to grow and maximize that opportunity.”
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is the family investment office of Sir Brian Souter, co-founder and Chairman of Stagecoach Group plc. Souter Investments makes investments across a broad range of asset classes, with a primary focus on private equity; it also maintains allocations to other asset classes such as private equity funds, listed equities and property. Transport investments are made by Souter Investments’ sister company, Highland Global Transport.
In addition to Fork Rent and One Call, Souter Investments unquoted holdings include stakes in Baywater Healthcare, the leading homecare provider; Voyage Care, the leading provider of support for people with learning difficulties, associated physical disabilities and complex needs; First Scottish Group, Scotland’s leading independent property, title and legal search provider and One Search Direct, which does the same in England; Mobius Life, a specialist investment administration platform authorised unit-linked UK life insurance company; and Avalon, the funeral plan provider.
Transport investments include New Zealand based urban bus operators Mana Coach Services, Howick and Eastern Buses and Reesby Buses; Auckland based ferry businesses Fullers Group and 360 Discovery; and long-distance express coach operators ManaBus.com and nakedbus.com. In Europe, Highland Global Transport holds stakes in intercity express coach operators PolskiBus.com, OnniBus.com and SuperBus.com, Turkish ferry operator, IDO Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri, and in leading international bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis.
Recent exits include the sale of CJ Fallon, one of Ireland’s leading educational publishers and the sale of luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, the IPO of general insurer the esure Group on the London Stock Exchange and the sale of biofuel manufacturer Argent Energy to John Swire & Sons (Green Investments).
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