Acquisition Completes For Specialist Mobile Welfare Units Firm

AER Rents – part of O’Flaherty Holdings Group – has acquired a leading welfare unit hire company for an undisclosed sum, in a deal advised on by our Corporate team.

Nationwide specialists Welfare 4 Hire Ltd was founded by Marc Prince and Stephen Dormer in 2013, with Mel Gould, now Sales Director, joining in 2017. It provides a comprehensive range of mobile welfare units such as site kitchens, canteens and toilets for construction and plant hire and the events and utility markets.

Welfare 4 Hire
Alice Rees

Its successful growth led to the independent business, based in Farnborough, Hampshire, trading from three locations covering the Midlands to the South Coast. The business will maintain its identity within AER rents, with Marc and Mel continuing in their leadership roles, along with their 14 employees.

We acted for the selling shareholders of Welfare 4 Hire. Alice Rees, Partner in our Corporate team, led the transaction with Associate, Isabelle Munyabarenzi, and Legal Director and Commercial Property specialist, Paul Hinchliffe, provided support and advice on the property aspects of the deal.

Alice said:

“This acquisition was an exciting moment for both the selling shareholders and AER Rents as it will offer fresh opportunities for all involved. Welfare 4 Hire is a great business with a strong team which AER Rents will I am sure benefit from.  As with every transaction we work on, it’s extremely satisfying to be part of the team responsible for ensuring it gets over the line.”

O’Flaherty Holdings was founded in the 1940s. Its subsidiaries include Motor Distributors Limited, distributors in Ireland of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and MSL – a network of independent motor dealerships providing sale and after-sales services for Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Skoda.

The group first invested in plant hire in 2014, with the acquisition of London-based Mr Plant Hire and in 2019 it acquired Ireland-based Drogheda Hire & Sales. This latest acquisition, which took place on 25th May 2021, comes just months after another acquisition which we advised on for Derbyshire-based tool, plant, access and power generation hire specialist Mainline Hire Group. It will allow AER Rents to offer a wider range of products and services to its customers while sites are in the early stages of development.

Together with the previously acquired businesses, the AER Rents group now offers a combined fleet of almost 1,500 modern-powered access machines, making it the 12th largest UK access supplier by fleet size. Marc Prince, Co-Founder of Welfare 4 Hire, said:

“Joining the AER Group is an exciting opportunity that will open up many new avenues for us. The additional investment will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and expand our product range even further and means that we’re able to further expand our depots into the North of England, improving our geographical coverage. We’re excited to continue working closely with our preferred suppliers to ensure we offer the best welfare facilities in the UK to our customers.”

The company was also supported in the deal by Riches & Company, in Cobham. AER Rents was advised by KPMG Corporate Finance & Legal Services, Dublin, and the sale was brokered by The Hire Exchange Ltd in London.

AER Rents says it will continue to expand its presence in the plant hire market through a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth, offering its customers access to a wider offering of modern products and services.