UK rental company Aspire Platforms has acquired the alloy tower and aerial lift rental operations of London Tower Services (LTS) from Steve Uragallo who is retiring, in an all share purchase transaction.
The move takes Aspire, which is based in Leigh – between Manchester and Liverpool – into the London market just two years after it was established by ex-HSS and One Call manager Vincent Rourke. LTS was set up by Steve Uragallo in 1988 who was previously a manager with scaffold manufacturer and rental company Stephens & Carter. The company offers regular alloy tower rental alongside a more specialist custom tower and platform installation and rental operation. He purchased the company’s first aerial work platform in 2004 and a few years later set that part of the business up as a separate company - LTS Powered Access Ltd - which is part owned and managed by long term business partner Paul Fairhall. Paula Uragallo is also a shareholder in both companies.
The two companies have gross assets in the region of 4.5 million and according to the 2019 Cranes & Access Top 30 rental company survey, LTS had a fleet 305 platforms, mostly self-propelled boom and scissor lifts.
Aspire Platforms is owned by Vincent Rourke and Simon Dunn who also established a second company Aspire Group of Businesses Ltd late last year, prior to looking out for acquisition opportunities. We understand that the plan with LTS is to run the business pretty much as it is with current staff, including key directors and Paul Fairhall, building on the current operational base. The deal was brokered by The Hire Exchange.
Steve Uragallo, 64, plans to retire now and spend more time with on his numerous interests, without worrying about the business. Aspire is also planning on leveraging the acquisition by opening new specialist alloy tower depots in Manchester, Yorkshire and Glasgow as Aspire Tower Services (ATS) and is actively looking at further acquisitions.
Chairman Simon Dunn said: “Our continued growth and all-round performance in Manchester and Yorkshire, despite the market uncertainty, has been amazing and this has given the board and our young and dynamic management team the confidence to expand into London and the South East.”
“We are hoping this is a clear statement of Aspires ambition to build the Aspire brand and create a national network of specialist’s access hire services to support our loyal customers across the UK. Aspire Platforms Ltd will now fall under the Aspire Group alongside our cross hire division Aspire Connect and Aspire Tower Services.”
Rourke added: “The Hire Exchange found us the perfect partners in LTS and this acquisition delivers on all fronts. First, it gives us an excellent geographic location from which to service the wider London and South East market. Second, it gives us two well respected businesses and brands with the resources and expertise to offer a comprehensive range of access solutions, from conventional Aluminium Towers to aerial work platforms and specialist products and services to the rail sector."
"The Aluminium Tower Services will be led by newly appointed director Andy Davie, formerly of SGB, Loxam and Instant Upright. Paul Fairhall, a founding director of LTS Powered Access, will remain with the business and manage the London operation. Luke Bowers formerly a director at HSS Hire, Brandon Tool Hire and Ardent Hire Solutions will head up Aspire Connect the group’s cross hire division which continues to grow and Andrew Brennan formerly a director at HSS Hire and Boels Rentals will head up the group’s platform side of the business both in Manchester and London."