13.12.2021

AFI acquires MBS

UK rental group AFI has acquired most of the assets of UK based spider lift rental company MBS Access.

MBS trades under the Spiderlift brand, which is part of the pure asset based deal that includes the goodwill, phone numbers, the Spiderlift trademark and website domain as well as most of the rental fleet which includes 40 spider lifts with working heights from 11 to 42 metres. The acquired business will form part of AFI’s Wilson Access truck mount and spider lift division. No further details of the deal have been released, MBS Access has total assets in the region of £2.7 million as of the end of last year, although MBS will continue to trade. Wilson intends to trade using the Spiderlift name for its fleet of spider lifts.

Wilson Access managing director Pete Wajner said: “We are delighted to purchase the fleet and Spiderlift name from MBS Access. This is a well-balanced fleet. The 30 metre plus tracks and hybrid units will complement our existing Wilson access track mount fleet and allow us to offer a diverse and efficient range to meet demand, as more of our customers strive to meet sustainability objectives throughout supply chains.”

“We intend to promote the Spiderlift brand to both existing MBS customers and the wider AFI group customers. We are pleased that we could agree and complete this deal with Martyn in a short time space, to allow him to achieve his objective of exiting the spider rental market”
Pete Wajner of Wilson Access (L) with Martyn Bass of MBS

MBS' founder and major shareholder, Martyn Bass, who took the decision in order to focus on his MBS Grounds Maintenance business, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with Pete Wajner and the AFI team at Wilson Access and we are thrilled to see the business go to a good home. The Spiderlift brand has had significant investment in recent times so it’s great to know that the Wilson team will continue to promote it. We look forward to working together with them in the future as a customer, and watching the business go from strength to strength.”

MBS Access began in 2006, when MBS Grounds Maintenance, which focused on tree surgery and building maintenance, decided to purchase five Teupen spider lifts for use within the business, while also renting them out to others as a side line - see: MBS adds spiders.

By 2013 the rental operation had grown to the point where it was becoming a distraction from the main business, so Bass brought in Ben Dobson from Facelift, one of his rehire customers, initially appointing him as hire manager. The following year they set the business up as a stand alone company, with Dobson as a joint director and shares in the new company.

MBS Access acquired the Spiderlift name from Steve Hadfield in 2018. Dobson left the business as part of this process just over a month or so ago.

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