THE Wigan plant giant Ainscough Crane Hire is under new ownership again.
US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management was today reported by The Business Desk online magazine to have been bought from Goldman Sachs and TPG who themselves only co-invested in it less than two and a half years ago.
A Los Angeles-based investment house, Oaktree is not commenting on the deal. But trade publication Vertikal quoted a leaked internal memo from Ainscough MD Robin Richardson, which read: “Oaktree are very excited about our plans for the future and are very keen to support us with our growth strategy. They will be visiting us in the near future, but in the meantime, let’s continue to stay focused on our business objectives.”
Standish-based Ainscough employs almost 1,000 staff across 30 sites and has more than 450 mobile cranes. It has enjoyed a resurgence in fortunes of late after struggling during the recession.
Indeed for the first time in a decade this week it re-appeared on the Sunday Times’s Profit Track 100 league table which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years.
In the year ending May 31 2014 profits rose from £10.4m to £16.6m and sales rose from £109.4m to £116.2m.
The company has passed through several hands since the brothers Martin, Brendan and James Ainscough from the founding family sold it for £255m in 2007 to the former Bank of Scotland. Ownership later passed on to Caird Capital before the sale to Goldman Sachs and TPG in late 2012.