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Briggs takes Aerial Platform Hire

Briggs Equipment has now confirmed the acquisition of Irish rental company Aerial Platform Hire from the Davin family. The all-share purchase deal was completed early this week.

Aerial Platform is one of the longest established self-propelled aerial lift distributors in Europe, having entered the market in the end of the 1970s after winning a long-term boom lift rental contract in Northern Ireland. It was also the oldest JLG distributor in Europe having started working with the company on that first contract and officially appointed in 1980.
See: 30 years with JLG

The company runs a fleet of just 300 platforms, with around 75 booms and 200 scissor lifts, and operates throughout the island of Ireland, from its base in Clane, County Kildare and a depot in Mallow, County Cork. The business will continue to operate as Aerial Platform Hire, while managing director Andrew Davin will remain in place for three months to support the transition.
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A statement from Briggs said: “This latest acquisition will further strengthen our position as the UK and Ireland’s premier asset management and engineering services specialist, whilst also demonstrating an ongoing commitment to developing its product and service offering. As part of the acquisition and long term strategy for the business, Briggs will be delivering ongoing investment into key areas including the equipment fleet to help meet evolving customer and market demands.”

Group managing director Pete Jones added: “We are delighted to have completed this latest acquisition, which sees Aerial Platform Hire join our group. Their unique combination of strong coverage throughout Ireland and an established reputation in the powered access market, will enable us to build on our existing presence within the country and expand our product offering.”

“We are committed to working with businesses that share the same values and cultures as ourselves and it’s clear there is a real family atmosphere that has been at the heart of the company’s success. As with all our acquisitions we are keen to preserve that ethos whilst also providing the appropriate investment, support and guidance to help the business achieve its full potential.”

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in securing the completion of this acquisition and we look forward to welcoming the Aerial Platforms team into our business, working closely with them and ensuring they have everything they need to go from strength to strength as an integral part of the Briggs Equipment Group.”

Andrew Davin added: “The Davin family are very pleased to announce the change of ownership of Aerial Platform Hire Ltd which has been acquired by the Briggs Equipment Group. We have grown this business over 42 years, and we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to our customers through the dedication of our team and investment in quality powered access products. We are confident that being part of Briggs Equipment will be a positive experience for our customers and staff alike as they benefit from the support and expertise of Briggs. We wish Aerial Platform Hire and Briggs every success for the future.”

This is Briggs’ second acquisition in these isles in two months, following the acquisition of Amersham, England, based Forkway in December.
Back to Ireland, the company must now be the market leader, at least in terms of the self-propelled platform rental market. Its string of aerial lift acquisitions in the Emerald Isle have included Laois Hire Services - the HSS business in Ireland - for €11.2 million last April, along with the Dublin depot of Balloo Hire. It purchased Balloo Hire Northern Ireland in March 2019, and Highway Plant in July of while also strengthening its presence in Scotland with the acquisition of material handling distributor Northern Forklift(Scotland) in September 2019.
Briggs itself reported a fleet of almost 900 aerial work platforms in the latest Cranes & Access Top UK/Ireland Rental Company survey in September last year.

Vertikal Comment

While fork lifts remain the core of the Briggs Equipment business in the UK, its Irish acquisitions have largely been aerial lift related. The sale by the Davin family follows almost two years after the untimely passing of Nicholas Davin in 2020. The deal looks positive for both Briggs, which gains a first class well established business, with a strong customer base, as well as the Davin family and Aerial’s employees, in that Briggs pays ‘top dollar’ or rather a ‘fair price’ for the business it acquires, and intends not only to maintain the business as is, but also invest further in it, while offering the benefits of greater market coverage and a wider product range though the other Irish companies in the group.

It certainly looks like a win win situation.