UK Construction Media

Exclusive: A-Plant’s Asif Latief on Hewden purchase

News   •   Nov 24, 2016 14:30 GMT

Exclusive with Marketing Director of A-Plant, Asif Latief, following their recent purchase of parts of plant hire group, Hewden’s.

Following the recent news of Hewden’s entering administration, A-Plant has acquired £29M of Hewden’s assets, including powered access and power generation fleet, five “on site” depots that service major petrochemical customers, the Interlift lifting and materials handling business and the Hewden Brand name,

Three divisions of the group – the Access and Power generation assets, the On-site plant business and the business and assets of Interlift Limited – were sold on in a pre-pack deal to Ashtead Plant Hire Company – which trades as A-Plant.

Hewden’s issues leading to administration include the Group’s capital structure and the recent trading environment, according to the administrator’s statement. The management undertook new initiatives but unfortunately they were unsuccessful. EY’s report also mentioned the company trying to renegotiate their debt structure.

The company operates depots in Dundee and Grangemouth as well as other outlets in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Alongside the asset purchase, 133 of Hewden’s employees will be joining the A-Plant business.

Talking exclusively to UK Construction Media, Asif Latief said: “All employees will transfer to A-Plant with the protection of TUPE and all current T&Cs of employment and length of service will transfer. We have welcomed these employees in to the business and provide guidance on a smooth transition to ensure these parts of the business integrate successfully in to the existing wider organisation.”

When asked about plans for the future, Mr Latief said: “Over the last 12 months we have invested more than £150m in brand new equipment, most recently a £35m deal with JCB for 1,200 machines. We want our customers to be able to hire the very latest equipment in terms of technology, health & safety and environmental compliance and with the backing of FTSE100-listed Ashtead Group plc we are well-placed to deliver on this commitment.

On the current state of the construction industry, Mr Latief was upbeat about the prospects of overcoming the short-term Brexit uncertainty. He commented: “I am sure that any uncertainty will remain until there is a clearer plan from the government regarding Brexit, but overall we are quite positive about the market, as far as we are concerned the end markets are quite strong.

“Whilst our product range is wide, there are still markets in which we would like a greater presence and the Hewden asset acquisition is a prime example of this as it enhances our presence in the industrial market. Our strategy will continue to be to identify opportunities in the right areas where we have scope to succeed.

A-Plant’s Chief Executive Sat Dhaiwal said: “We are pleased to be taking over a number of important on-site depots at major petrochemical facilities and will ensure that a high level of service is maintained for all customers through the integration process. I would also like to welcome those Hewden employees who will be joining A-Plant as part of this process.”

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