11 August, 2005

Acquisitions and disposal

Ashtead Group plc, the equipment rental group serving the US and UK construction, industrial and homeowner market, announces that its US subsidiary Sunbelt Rentals has further progressed development of its clustered markets strategy through the following recent transactions:

  • the acquisition from Brookstone Equipment & Services Inc of three stores located in Orange and San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada
  • following the acquisition of five stores from HSS RentX in Southern Florida announced on 18 May 2005, Sunbelt has now acquired a further store in Knoxville, Tennessee from HSS RentX
  • the acquisition of a store in Nokomis, Florida

In total the stores acquired this year have annual revenues of approximately $22 million and were acquired for a total consideration of approximately $23 million. These acquisitions were financed entirely from existing credit facilities.

Additionally Sunbelt has recently completed the disposal of its 12 specialist scaffold depots on the West Coast and in Texas to one of the largest scaffold service providers in North America, Safway Services, Inc. The estimated proceeds of $24 million are being reinvested in developing our general tool operations on the West Coast, including the Brookstone acquisition discussed above.

Sunbelt also continues its organic opening programme and has already opened new stores in Miami, Phoenix and Houston this year.

George Burnett, Chief Executive said:

“This is in line with our strategy to focus our businesses on growth markets and based on the last 12 months performance the net effect of these transactions is EBITDA positive. The acquisitions strengthen Sunbelt's presence by further developing clusters of stores from which we can better serve our key markets in the US and continue to take advantage of the strong market conditions and the structural shift from ownership to rental”.