Manchester’s HSS sells Irish plant hire business Laois

Shares of Manchester-based tool and equipment rental firm HSS Hire Group plc rose about 4% on Wednesday after it said it agreed to sell Laois Hire Services Limited, the group’s Irish large plant hire business, to Briggs Equipment Ireland Limited for €11.2 million.

HSS Hire Group also revealed it has seen “encouraging momentum” during the first three months of 2021.

“The proceeds will be used to invest in the core Tool Hire business in line with the group’s strategy,” said HSS.

“With Laois representing around 4% of group revenue for the year ended 28 December 2019, the directors believe that the consideration represents an attractive valuation for shareholders.

“As part of this transaction, HSS has entered into a commercial agreement with Briggs for the cross hire of equipment to ensure the broadest possible distribution of, and customer access to, the parties existing fleets.”

HSS said it expects to report its 2020 full year results in the week commencing April 26, 2021, and confirmed that trading for the year “was in line with management expectations.”

The company added: “The group has seen encouraging momentum during the first three months of 2021 and EBITDA for the period to 3rdApril 2021 is comfortably ahead of the comparable prior year period.”

HSS Hire Group CEO Steve Ashmore said: “Over the last four years, we have made substantial progress against all three of our strategic priorities: to delever 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.

Laois has made a good contribution to the group over recent years and I would like to thank the team for their commitment.

“I am very pleased that the business will be joining Briggs who recognise its value and whose expertise will help it reach its full potential.

Given HSS’s existing partnership with Briggs, we will continue to provide our customers in the Republic of Ireland with all of their large plant requirements.”