Loss-making HSS plans to use the proceeds of the sale to invest in the core tool hire business in line with the company’s strategy. Much of Laois Hire’s business is in mobile plant, such as excavators and telehandlers.
As part of the sale deal, HSS has entered into a commercial agreement with Briggs for the cross hire of equipment.
Laois represented 4% of HSS group revenue in 2019 – about £13m out of the £328m total.
HSS hasn’t managed to turn a profit for years, racking up pre-tax losses of £5.8m in 2019, £9.2m in 2018, £85.2m in 2017, £17.4m in 2016, £13.8m in 2015, etc etc. Its 2020 results are out later this month.
HSS chief executive Steve Ashmore said: "Over the last four years, we have made substantial progress against all three of our strategic priorities: to de-lever the group, transform the Tool Hire business and strengthen our commercial proposition. During this time we have transformed HSS to a modern, agile, technology-driven business, improving trading, reducing cost and increasing the overall profitability of the group. Today's announcement is another step forward on our strategy, enabling us to increase focus on our core Tool Hire business.”