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Mon September 20 2021

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Molson investors move into Plantforce

9 Aug 18 It has now emerged that on the same day that venture capital group BGF took a stake in Molson Construction Equipment it also invested in neighbouring Plantforce Rentals.

Plantforce is the largest supplier of plant at Hinkley Point C
Plantforce is the largest supplier of plant at Hinkley Point C

BGF has invested £4.7m growth capital into Plantforce, in addition to the £6.3m that it has invested in Molson.

Both deals took place on the same day.

BGF representatives have also joined the board of Plantforce. Companies House filings on 30th July show that Bill Caplan, put in by BGF as non-executive chairman of Molson, is now on the board of Plantforce too, along with Molson shareholders/managing directors Jonathan Wilson and Robin Powell.

Plantforce managing director Claire Trott continues in day-to-day charge of the business and also remains a shareholder.

Plantforce, which has depots in Weston Super Mare, Bridgwater, Exeter and Birmingham, was founded in 1999 as Molson’s hire fleet but was soon hived off as a separate entity with Molson owners Jonathan Wilson and Robin Powell merely as sleeping partners.

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Under Claire Trott, Plantforce Rentals has seen substantial growth in recent years. Since 2011 its annual turnover has grown from £4m to £20m. It made pre-tax profit of £2.2m in the year to 30th September 2017 and is the largest supplier of plant at Hinkley Point C.

A spokesman for Molson said that Molson and Plantforce would remain separate entities, with "a supplier / customer relationship".

Claire Trott said: “This is a really exciting time for Plantforce. We have a clear vision of the future and we’re very pleased to have BGF’s support at this crucial stage in our growth phase. The investment will not only enable us to diversify and expand our fleet, but also to continue and strengthen our service offering, what we do best, but strive to do better. Providing our customers with a greater flexibility to exceed their requirements, and supporting them in finding solutions.”

Ned Dorbin, an investor at BGF, said: “Plantforce has established a strong position in the construction market as a provider of exceptional quality machinery supplemented with round-the-clock customer care. Providing operated kit is one of their key differentiators and we believe the company is well-positioned to capitalise on several large infrastructure projects over the coming years. We’re very happy to be backing them ahead of what looks to be a very exciting time for the business.”

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