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Vp closes sales effort

UK based rental company Vp - owner of telehandler rental company UK Forks, low level access company MEP and general rental business Brandon Hire - has closed the formal sales process it launched at the end of April and concluded that none of the interest shown met the objectives that the company was looking to meet.

The statement from the company said: “The board carefully reviewed a number of proposals with its advisers and has unanimously concluded that none of the proposals would meet the board's objectives of delivering an outcome that would satisfactorily meet the interests of all stakeholders.”

Vp's controlling shareholder Ackers P Investment Company led by Vp chairman Jeremy Pilkington, has said that it is committed to Vp and has no intention of selling its shares on the market for the foreseeable future.

Pilkington said: "In the original announcement I commented that Vp's controlling shareholder, a company connected to me, had decided that it wished to diversify its investments. Following a review conducted with our advisers, we, as a board unanimously concluded that it would be in the best interests of all the company's stakeholders to launch the formal sale process. The process was focused on identifying the right owner for the business and whilst we were pleased with the level of interest shown, it did not lead to the identification of a suitable new owner.”

Vertikal Comment

This looks like a sound move for Vp employees, customers and suppliers, if not for the controlling shareholder. Although the company was specific about the ‘stakeholder interests’ it was looking to protect, one imagines that it alludes to finding a buyer that would maintain the company culture and values for employees and customers as well as considering the interests of long-term shareholders.

Your average private equity/hedge fund buyer would therefore have been ruled out unless they were ready to pay way over the odds - perhaps.
It will be interesting to see the impact this announcement will have on the share price when the market opens tomorrow. It dropped 28p today to £8.78, but that was prior to the statement being issued. However Ashtead also declined, while most other big rental companies were roughly flat or posted marginal gains.