Private equity firm Rutland Partners has sold tool and equipment hire business Brandon Hire to Vp plc for £69 million.
The exit delivers a return of 2.6x on Rutland’s original investment of £32 million.
Brandon Hire is based in Bristol and provides more than 30,000 customers with tools and equipment, primarily for use within the repair and maintenance sector of the construction industry.
The firm was founded in 1971 and employs over 900 people across more than 140 branches throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Brandon Hire was acquired by Rutland in 2010 from Wolseley plc, which is now Ferguson plc. Since Rutland’s investment, the business has been successfully reshaped and repositioned by the CEO Tim Smith and his team to focus on supplying tools and equipment to customers in the SME sector. The business also acquired Phoenix Surveying Equipment and grew its EBITDA during this time.
A spokesperson for Rutland said: “Brandon Hire was a complex carve-out from its previous owners at a difficult time for the UK economy. Under the leadership of Tim Smith and his senior team, the business has become one of the most consistent performers in its sector and within our portfolio irrespective of market conditions. This deal is a great outcome for both our fund investors and the Brandon Hire team. Vp plc is acquiring a business with a strong brand, good senior management and a broad, well invested equipment hire fleet.”
Tim Smith, the CEO of Brandon Hire, added: "From the outset Rutland has been a supportive investor in Brandon Hire and was my first choice backer as we separated from Wolseley plc. A stable shareholding has allowed us to grow a successful equipment hire business, with an SME focus. This has given us a competitive edge and a point of difference. We've been able to build real customer loyalty by developing a great local branch network that's run by staff who genuinely care about what they do. I feel proud of what we have achieved together. Looking to the future, Vp is the ideal new owner to allow the company to continue to grow and thrive."