Here at Anything for Hire News, our aim is to keep our readers informed on what is going on in the hire and rental industry. But, unfortunately, it is not all rainbows and unicorns, with this week seeing the closure of a large, reputable plant hire firm in Shropshire.

Regrettably, Hawk Plant (UK) is now under the control of administrators, with Sam Woodward, Alex Williams and Hunter Kelly of EY’s restructuring team managing the process.

83 job losses

According to sources, the Prees-based company is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with 83 out of the firm’s 420 employees having already been laid off this month.

While evidently in troubled waters, this news has come as a surprise to many. This is mainly due to the fact that the firm reported a healthy turnover of £93.5m in the financial year ending in December 2017. And with over 40 years of experience in the infrastructure, energy and homebuilding markets, many expected Hawk Plant (UK) to have stamped their name in the plant hire industry indefinitely.

Joint administrator, Sam Woodward, said the following:

“The group’s cashflow had been impacted by a number of historical problematic contracts and a delay in the commencement of anticipated projects.

Coupled with this, the group’s funding structure, with significant hire purchase and finance lease commitments put pressure on the cashflow at a time that asset utilisation was comparatively low.”

The business is now looking for a buyer to take over the company. This purchase will also include Hawk Plant (UK)’s five subsidiary businesses. However, who the buyer will be is anyone’s guess.

What does this mean for the UK plant hire industry?

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