Competition watchdog to probe VP’s £68m Brandon Hire deal

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is to investigate the £68m acquisition of national tool and equipment hire business Brandon Hire by Harrogate-based Vp.

The deal, announced on November 8, would create a leading specialist tool hire business within the UK division of Vp – which employs around 100 people in its Harrogate HQ.

Brandon Hire operates a full range of tool hire equipment with an operational model which is closely aligned to Vp’s own specialist tool hire business, Hire Station.

Brandon Hire had been owned by a private equity firm for seven years. For the year ended 31 December 2016, revenues were £79.8m, generating profits before interest, tax, exceptionals and amortisation of £6m from gross assets of £50.6m.

Commenting on the acquisition last month, Jeremy Pilkington, chairman of Vp, said: “The acquisition of a well established business of the size and quality of Brandon Hire is a significant development for Vp. We have, over recent years, developed an industry leading specialist tool hire business in the UK. This transaction represents a major step change in the scale and scope of our specialist tool hire offering.

“The Vp and Brandon Hire business cultures are closely aligned and we look forward to working with all of the Brandon Hire employees in developing the business further over the coming years.”

In a statement to the markets this morning, Vp said: “Prior to completion of the acquisition, Vp conducted a detailed due diligence exercise, including assessing potential competition considerations and it will fully assist the CMA with its enquiry.

“The group will provide further updates to the market as and when appropriate.”

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