15 November, 2005

Improvement to Terms of Asset Based Loan Facility

New terms increase facility size, extend maturity and reduce cost

Ashtead Group plc, the equipment rental group serving the US and UK construction, industrial and homeowner market, announces that it has agreed amended terms with the syndicate of lenders who make available its first priority asset based senior secured loan facility to increase the size and maturity of the facility and reduce its cost.

Principal changes:

  • increases the size of the facility from US$675 million to US$800 million · extends its maturity by a further year to November 2010
  • lowers the interest rate grid from its current range of LIBOR plus 225bp to 300bp to a new range of LIBOR plus 150bp to 250bp.
  • revises the calculation of the borrowing base providing an increase in the amount of the facility currently available of approximately $90 million
  • removes the maximum capital expenditure and minimum EBITDA covenants

Ian Robson, finance director, commented:

“We are pleased with the support we have received from our syndicate of lenders for this amendment which underlines the continued improvement in the Group’s performance and the strength of our capital structure following this summer’s capital reorganisation. The amended facility gives us substantial flexibility as we continue to invest in the Group’s future development, particularly in the United States where conditions in our core market remain strong. It also gives us an immediate reduction of 50bp in the cost of our first priority senior debt which totalled £275 million ($487 million) at 31 October 2005.”

Ashtead will announce its results for the second quarter and first half of the year on Tuesday 13 December 2005. There will be a presentation to equity analysts at 9.30am on that day at the offices of JPMorgan at 10 Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7RF and a conference call for bondholders in the afternoon at 3.00pm.