Blackpool haulage and earthworks firm buys Lancashire plant hire business

A Blackpool haulage firm has snapped up a regional plant hire company.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:30 pm

Fox Brothers, the South Shore-based haulier of aggregates, recycled materials and earthworks contractor, has acquired Clive Hurt Plant Hire Limited in a multi-million-pound deal.

The acquisition brings together two of the North West’s premier operators and will create a combined business with an annual turnover of close to £50m.

Collectively it will employ around 320 people.

Blackpool based Fox Brothers has bought the Clive Hurt plant hire and haulage business

Paul Fox, Group MD of Fox Brothers, said the acquisition will be a catalyst for future growth and create significant opportunities to compete for larger projects in terms of scale, scope and complexity, as well as expanding the group’s geographical coverage.

He said the combined 150-strong fleet of wagons makes it the largest in the region, with the 70 from Fox Brothers joining forces with 80 from Clive Hurt, while the group also operates a significant fleet of plant and machinery with around 400 machines.

The group management team will be led by Paul Fox, Alan Fox (director), John Flood (group commercial and strategic director), Lee Stringer (commercial director) and Richard Hurt, (operations manager), while Clive Hurt will remain in the business.

Fox Brothers and Clive Hurt Plant Hire will continue under their existing brands, and day-to-day operations will be carried out from their respective locations.

Blackpool based Fox brothers has bought the Clive Hurt plant hire business

Paul Fox said: “This acquisition is an incredible opportunity to unlock the potential of both businesses.

ven before this deal we were considered leaders in our respective fields, now, it will create further opportunities for the two firms to take advantage of.

“We will be one of the main providers of earthworks and aggregates transport in the North West and we will be able to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ solution for housebuilders, infrastructure, construction and civils contractors.

“We will also have the capability to tackle larger and more complex engineering projects.”

As part of the deal Fox Brothers’ property company Fox Brothers has agreed to purchase Clive Hurt’s Sandham House depot in Leyland.

The transaction was funded by Close Brothers, which provided invoice finance, asset finance and term debt to support the acquisition.

Andrew Metcalfe from Close Brothers said: “Close Brothers are delighted to support Fox Brothers with this acquisition, and we look forward to working together as they continue to grow and develop the Group.”

Fox Brothers were advised by Hill Dickinson LLP and Clive Hurt Plant Hire were advised by Napthens Solicitors.

Whitehills based Fox Brothers was established in 1932, and has worked on high profile projects such as the Fairhaven-Granny’s Bay Coastal Protection Programme (Sea Defence work) and the M55 Link Road (linking Preston to the South Fylde).

Clive Hurt founded his eponymous business in 1971 and run with his son Richard, it offers operated or self-drive plant hire; wagon hire; contracting, landscaping and recycling services.