23 June, 2008

Disposal of Ashtead Technology Rentals

The Board of Ashtead is pleased to announce the sale of Ashtead Technology Rentals to a management led buyout backed by Phoenix Equity Partners Limited ("Phoenix") for a total consideration of approximately £95.6 million payable in cash on completion. Completion of the Disposal is expected to take place shortly.

Ashtead Technology Rentals is a leader in the rental of electronic equipment to the offshore oil and gas sector and the environmental monitoring and testing industry and operates from 14 locations in the UK, North America and Singapore. The applications for its wide range of rental equipment include subsea positioning, remotely operated vehicle sensors, environmental monitoring, non-destructive testing and remote visual inspection.

As reported in Ashtead’s 2007 Annual Report and Accounts, as at 30 April 2007, Ashtead Technology Rentals had segment assets of £22.2 million, segment liabilities of £4.1 million and contributed £6.2 million of profit to the Ashtead Group’s overall profit before taxation, amortisation and exceptionals in the year ended 30 April 2007.

The management of Ashtead Technology Rentals, including Andy Doggett, Managing Director and Andy Holroyd, President of North America, have led the buyout and will continue to manage the business under its new ownership.

This Disposal follows a strategic review of Ashtead Technology Rentals as a result of which the Ashtead board concluded that the business was not core and sought a disposal.

Commenting on the transaction, Geoff Drabble, Chief Executive of Ashtead Group, said:

"We believe that this transaction is attractive for our shareholders and leaves us focused on our two core businesses, Sunbelt Rentals and A-Plant. The proceeds from the Disposal will be used to reduce Ashtead’s outstanding net debt, having regard to the Board’s overall strategy of managing the capital structure conservatively. The Board would like to thank the management and employees of Ashtead Technology Rentals for the valuable contribution that they have made to the Group over the past 18 years."

Commenting on the transaction, Hugh Lenon, Managing Partner of Phoenix, said:

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Ashtead Technology Rentals and to work alongside the management team to develop it as an independent business. The acquisition demonstrates our continuing enthusiasm for the business services sector. We will invest in the expansion of the business with the objective of continuing the track record of impressive growth witnessed over the last few years."

Ashtead Group plc will announce its results for the year ended 30 April 2008 tomorrow when there will also be a meeting for analysts at 9.30am at the offices of RSB Hoare Govett at 250 Bishopsgate, London, EC4R 4AA.

Ashtead Group plc (020 7726 9700)
Geoff Drabble
Ian Robson

NM Rothschild (020 7280 5000)
Ravi Gupta
Anselm Frost

Maitland (020 7379 5151)
Brian Hudspith