Vp makes safety acquisition

Zenith will be integrated within ESS Safeforce
Zenith will be integrated within ESS Safeforce
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Equipment hire firm Vp has made its second acquisition in less than a month with the purchase of safety equipment firm Zenith for £4m plus assumed debt of £2m.

Harrogate-based Vp said Ossett-based Zenith will be integrated within ESS Safeforce which is part of Hire Station, Vp’s specialist tool hire business. Zenith has a nationwide presence.

Analysts welcomed the deal. James Tetley at N+1 Singer said: “This looks to be another classic Vp acquisition, enhancing the group’s existing capability in a niche area and introducing cross selling opportunities.

“We upgrade our 2018 pre-tax profit and earnings per share forecasts by 3 per cent to reflect the combined contribution from JMS and Zenith. A recent trading update confirmed that the group is making good underlying progress, in line with expectations, and we expect Vp to continue to make attractive returns over coming periods.”

At the start of April, Vp bought mechanical and electrical equipment hirer Jackson Mechanical Services (JMS M&E) for £3.6m.​

JMS M&E​ operates from locations in ​Leeds and ​Harpenden and will be integrated into ​Vp’s specialist tool hire business Hire Station.

Zenith operates in the specialist rental and sale of survey and safety equipment from seven locations across the UK. It primarily serves the construction and civil engineering sectors.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jeremy Pilkington, ​c​hairman of Vp, said:​ ​“The acquisition of a well established business like Zenith represents an important expansion of Vp’s​ ​specialist tool hire activities. I am delighted to welcome the experienced Zenith team to the Vp​ ​Group.”

​Vp will announce its final ​r​esults for the year ​to March ​31​ on Tuesday​,​ June​ 6.​