Lancashire lifting company sold to Swedish industrial group

Chris Turner, Lifting Gear UK
X The Business Desk

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Swedish industrial group Axel Johnson International has acquired North West-based Lifting Gear UK.

Lifting Gear UK is a family owned company headquartered in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, which was founded in Leyland near Preston in 2007 and has 12 depots across England and Scotland, from Glasgow in the north to Bridgwater in the south.

Family owned, until the sale to the Swedish group, Lifting Gear UK is the largest privately-owned lifting equipment provider in the UK.

As well as providing equipment hire, it offers a range of value-added services such as heavy lifting projects, contract lifting and bespoke design and fabrication.

Founder Chris Turner said: “I believe that Axel Johnson International is the ideal owner to help grow Lifting Gear UK’s business and brand recognition.

“I am confident that the group’s culture and know-how of the industry will support further growth of the company. I’d like to thank our loyal employees whose dedication and hard work has made the company the success it is today.”

Managing director Andrew Harrison added: “Becoming part of Lifting Solutions group will provide us with an excellent platform to further expand our presence and streamline our supply chain. We are looking forward to working closer with the group to further enhance our excellent customer service.”

Ralf Wiberg, Managing Director, Lifting Solutions, a business group within Axel Johnson International said: “We are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to expand our offering within the lifting rental market, which we believe will be a cornerstone in our future growth and increased focus on sustainable customer offers.

“Lifting Gear UK has a well-established brand and dedicated co-workers with a can-do attitude that we believe will contribute significantly to our group.”

Grant Thornton UK advised the owners of Lifting Gear UK Group on the sale.

The team advising the shareholders comprised Usman Malik, Chris Ryan, Simon Keppie and James Boreman.

Usman Malik, head of Business services advisory at Grant Thornton said: “The acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for all parties and a great outcome for the entrepreneurial founders of Lifting Gear UK, who have worked incredibly hard to create an excellent and well-regarded business. We look forward to seeing the combined group go from strength to strength.”

Other advisers included NR Barton (Accountants and business advisors) – Catherine Rogers and Scott Lees, Pinsent Masons (Lawyers) – James Skivington and Jonathan Fritz.

Axel Johnson was advised by law firm Knights (Matt Ainsworth and Michael Hall) and BHP (Financial and Tax DD).