Livingstone advises on sale of Watkins Hire to Baird Capital

Watkins turns up the heat with Private Equity deal

Livingstone’s Industrial sector team is pleased to announce the sale of Watkins Hire Limited to its management team, led by CEO Paul O’Kelly, backed by private equity house Baird Capital. Baird has invested a total of £10.1m, providing additional growth capital to allow the Company to expand its rental fleet and accelerate its growth.

Livingstone advised the shareholders of Watkins Hire on the transaction.

Watkins Hire is a leading independent provider of temperature control equipment rental services, and is the only rental company in the UK to offer a complete range of heating and cooling equipment, with a market leading fleet of bespoke assets, including heaters, steam and water boilers, air handlers and chillers.

The Company has a blue-chip client base spread across a diverse range of industries, including energy, utilities, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, FM, construction and events. It operates through five UK depots which have supported its growth into lucrative national contracts.

Commenting on the transaction, James Benfield, Managing Director at Baird Capital, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Watkins management team and, through our strong sector knowledge and resources, to help the company build on its reputation as a trusted provider of quality temperature control services.”

Mark Hills, outgoing Managing Director of Watkins Hire Ltd, commented “The Livingstone team were tenacious throughout, combining a clear understanding of the business with creative solutions to complete this difficult transaction. We have been impressed throughout the process by Livingstone’s knowledge of the plant hire sector, and the insight they brought to the value of our existing platform. They were committed to achieving the best result for the shareholders and have been tireless in getting this over the line.”

Alex John, Director at Livingstone, added: “Watkins has the right management team and market position to continue to lead this growth sector, and in Baird they have teamed up with a house that is fully aligned with their growth strategy. It has been a pleasure to work with the team and deliver a deal that works for the exiting shareholders and on-going management team alike.”


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