Ainscough Cranes sold to US PE house

AINSCOUGH Crane Hire, the country’s largest mobile crane rental company, has changed hands again.

The new owner of the Wigan company is US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, which has acquired the business from Goldman Sachs and TPG – who co-invested in late 2012.

Oaktree, a reclusive Los Angeles-based investment house with an office in London, has not commented on the deal, but a trade publication, Vertikal, cited a leaked internal memo from Ainscough managing director Robin Richardson, which states:  “Oaktree are very excited about our plans for the future and are very keen to support us with our growth strategy.

“They will be visiting us in the near future, but in the meantime, let’s continue to stay focused on our business objectives.”

Ainscough, which has 455 mobile cranes, 30 depots nationwide and employs more than 980 people has performed well in the last two years after previously being forced into the red during the recession and construction downturn.

In the year to May 31 2014 profits rose from £10.4m to £16.6m and sales rose from £109.4m to £116.2m.

Ainscough Cranes, based in Standish, was sold by the founding family for £255m to part of the former Bank of Scotland. Control passed to Caird Capital before the sale to Goldman Sachs and TPG.

The Manchester office of Deloitte provided financial due diligence on the deal, led by Jodi Birkett, Islam Zafar, David O’Leary and Simone Wilson.

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