UK crane rental company Quinto Crane & Plant Hire has called in the administrators and looks set to close.
Rumours of the company’s demise have been circulating for the past week, but it is now official, with the Notice of intention to appoint an administrator filed at the end of last week with Price Bailey now confirmed as such. The company appears to have taken down its website and we have heard, but not yet managed to confirm, that most of the staff have been laid off.
The company, which is based in Norwich, Norfolk, has not been paying its bills normally since last year and has been subject to at least six unsatisfied County Court Judgements this year totalling £46,419. If the reports we have received are true, the company still owes its previous owners the Kiddle family £1 million and have a substantial debt with the UK tax authorities.
In the year to the end of September 2020, the company reported revenues of over £8 million, with a pre-tax loss of £568,000. Total assets were just over £11.1 million, with a tangible net worth of £3.6 million. It also had a positive working capital of £1.5 million. However, for the same period the holding company, Arnold Family Holdings reported a pre-tax loss of over £1 million on the £8 million revenue and had a negative working capacity of almost £1 million.
Quinto was acquired in 2014 from Ivor Kiddle and the Kiddle family in an all-share purchase deal by Oliver Arnold, currently its sole director. He had previously run a successful career as an agricultural contractor but was new to the crane rental business. At the time Quinto operated a fleet of 60 cranes from eight locations, with 125 employees and had revenues in the region of £8 million.
See: New owner for Quinto
The Quinto name first appeared in 1966 when it was a division of the Pointer Group, which owned sand and gravel pits, a transport fleet and concrete construction business. Ivor Kiddle, a director of the concrete construction operation, became general manager of the crane and equipment rental business in 1968 and remained in position when the group was acquired by RMC-Ready Mixed Concrete in 1970. Kiddle led a Management Buy Out of the crane business from RMC in 1977 and named it Quinto to reflect the company's five depots.
This is a sad day for one of the oldest crane rental companies in the UK. Before becoming Quinto, the cranes, painted in the same colours, carried a Pointer dog logo on the carrier cab doors and were among the best looking and well maintained fleets in the country.
If crane companies do not do something about rates, there may well be more such casualties.