Belfast Telegraph

Speedy Hire sells mechanical plant fleet to Ardent in £14.4m deal

Tool rental firm Speedy Hire has offloaded its large mechanical plant fleet for £14.4 million to Ardent Hire in an effort to reduce its debt.

The fleet, which includes dumper trucks and excavators, generated revenues of £3.2 million and operating profits of approximately £1.9 million in the 12 months to July.

As part of the deal, Speedy Hire has entered into a five-year re-hire agreement with Ardent, with an option to extend by a further two years.

Boss Russell Down said: "I am pleased that we have been able to conclude this agreement which both guarantees continuity of supply to our customers and will enhance our return on capital.

"The disposal is consistent with our strategy of focusing on core operations and further strengthening the group's balance sheet."

Speedy Hire is currently embroiled in a battle with an activist investor, Toscafund, which is calling for the firm to oust its executive chairman and merge with a rival.

Earlier this month, the firm brushed aside the demands, insisting it should not push for a tie-up with HSS Hire and branded calls for Jan Astrand to step down as an "unnecessary distraction".

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