Machinery hire firm Hewden collapses into administration

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 | ADMINISTRATION

Administrators are looking for buyers for the remainder of the machinery rental firm Hewden, which has collapsed.

Three divisions of the firm - its access and power generation assets, an on-site plant business and the business and assets of Interlift Limited - have been sold to Ashtead’s A-Plant arm for £29 million. 133 employees will transfer across with the businesses.

However, 251 employees in Hewden’s depot and on-site locations have been made redundant. Administrators Ernst & Young (EY) are now looking for buyers for the rest of the Hewden business.

Earlier this week it was widely reported that Hewden, which supplies plant, cranes and other equipment to UK construction sites, was on the verge of administration.

In a trading update last month the company said it had been “adversely affected” by the outcome of the EU referendum, with the decision to leave the European Union impacting a number of construction and capital investment projects.

The company's most recent accounts for the year to December 2014 show it made a pre-tax loss of £16.6 million.

EY’s Sam Woodward said: “Management has been attempting to operationally reshape the business to focus on higher margin and quicker returning assets and services.

“However, this has proven challenging with the group’s capital structure and the recent trading environment. Management recently undertook a number of initiatives including approaching new funders and potential acquirers to recapitalise the business, but unfortunately these efforts proved unsuccessful.”

He added: “We are assessing the optimum strategy for maximising value in the remainder of the group. In the meantime, we will continue to work with stakeholders to maintain service levels to customers who have assets on hire.”

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