Funds managed by private equity firms Searchlight Capital Partners and Duke Street have acquired controlling interests in family-owned hire firms Fork Rent and One Call Hire.
The combined business is led by Steve Corcoran, who spent more than 25 years with Speedy, the last eight as chief executive until November 2013 when he resigned after it was discovered his Middle East managers had been fiddling the books behind his back.
The newly combined business of Fork Rent and One Call Hire will create one of the UK’s leading operators of excavators and telescopic handlers, with a turnover of approaching £70m. With its telehandlers, Fork Rent has a greater involvement in the residential market, while One Call is stronger in infrastructure and commercial construction.
Searchlight partner Oliver Haarmann said: “We have been deeply impressed by the leading market positions achieved by Fork Rent and One Call under the leadership of their founders. Together, the companies can leverage their increased scale and strong reputation for providing best-in-class customer service to create a leading equipment rental company in the UK across multiple end-markets and equipment types.”
Duke Street partner Stuart McMinnies added: “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.”