Ainscough Crane Hire has fought off rival bids from a European consortium and an internal management buyout team to clinch the purchase of the Baldwins fleet of mobile cranes.
The deal was confirmed today and is likely to result in the rapid assimilation of the Baldwins Industrial Services crane fleet into Ainscough’s fleet. Baldwins currently has about 270 cranes in its fleet and it is expected that Ainscough will purchase about 250 of them to give it a total fleet size of 650 cranes.
Sources at Ainscough said that the company was determined to keep as many of the Baldwins operations staff as possible and stressed that this would not be a “carve-up”. It seems likely, however, that there will be redundancies at Baldwins head office and that most of the Baldwins depots will be merged into existing Ainscough depots. The exception is likely to be in London where Baldwins has two depots that would complement Ainscough’s existing network.
The price paid for the deal has not been revealed and the receivers, Pricewaterhouse Coopers did not return calls from Vertikal.net . However, it is understood that Ainscough has purchased the assets and has not bought the company Baldwins Industrial Services. Excluded from the deal is the Delta tower crane operation and Baldwins' US crane rental operation Phillips. Both are still for sale.
Also still to be clarified is whether all of the cranes in the Baldwins heavy lift fleet will be part of the deal, but it seems clear that Ainscough will soon have cranes with capacities of more than 800 tonnes. Senior staff at Ainscough stressed that although there had always been friendly rivalry with Baldwins “we are greatly looking forward to working with them and will keep existing teams together as much as is possible”.
* The Baldwins fleet is much younger than the GWS fleet that Ainscough bought last year and it is therefore likely that less of the Baldwins fleet will be sold on than was the case with GWS. Ainscough’s total workforce is likely to be more than 1200 people.