VP plc looks for buyer

By Murray Pollok28 April 2022

One of the UK’s largest rental companies VP plc is considering the sale of the business after its majority shareholder said it intended to sell its stake.

Ackers P Investment Company Ltd, which is connected to long-time VP chairman Jeremy Pilkington, told the VP board that it is exploring options to sell its entire 50.26% shareholding. As a result, the board is launching a formal sale process.

VP treackside equipment One of Vp plc’s divisions is Torrent Trackside, which rents specialist equipment to the rail industry.

VP said it was not in discussions or received any offer from potential buyers.

Jeremy Pilkington, Chairman of Vp, said the controlling shareholder had decided to diversify its investments; “This does not in any way reflect a dissatisfaction with the company or its direction.

“Indeed, they are strongly supportive of management and highly satisfied by the continuing strong performance of the group. But they do have to take into account their current and future obligations to my family as a whole.”

VP is one of Europe’s top 10 rental companies with revenues in 2020 of €403 million. In the UK, only Sunbelt Rentals UK and Speedy are larger businesses.

Jeremy Pilkington, Chairman, VP plc.

Neil Stothard, Chief Executive of Vp, said it had been a unanimous board decision to initiate the sale process; “The Board intends to seek a buyer who will respect our unique heritage and highly valued employee base, whilst supporting our longer-term growth ambitions and ensuring we continue to develop our business and maintain an environment whereby the business can continue to deliver long term, quality returns, to our shareholders.”

VP said it would seek a buyer who would “respect Vp’s unique heritage, family culture and committed employee base, support its environmental and sustainability goals and commitments, and enable the company to continue to prosper in the long term.”

The business has a long history as a specialist rental company, run on a divisional basis for product groups including shoring, telehandlers and tool hire. It was created in 1954 and became stock market listed in 1973.

It was ranked 27 in last year’s IRN100 list of the world’s largest rental businesses based on revenues in 2020.

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