Speedy Hire machines at the company39s Tamworth facility
Speedy Hire machines at the company's Tamworth facility.

U.K.’s Speedy Hire Reportedly Breaks Up Merger Talks with HSS Hire

The United Kingdom’s largest equipment and tool rental company Speedy Hire has publicly denied recent speculation that it was close to a merger with HSS Hire, another large national U.K. rental firm. After several British press reports that the two companies, both of whose trading results and stock prices have been disappointing in recent months, were close to a deal, Speedy issued a statement that said: “Following recent press comment, Speedy confirms that it is not considering a combination with HSS.”

The U.K.’s Sky News recently reported that a merger deal had the backing of some of the largest shareholders of both companies. However, according to reports, some Speedy directors opposed the deal, and two Speedy non-executive directors resigned.

Speedy recently reported group revenue of £165 million (about U.S. $250 million) for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, compared to £189.3 million for the same period in 2014, a 12.8-percent decline.

Speedy recently put in place remedial actions to improve performance, including an improvement in asset availability across the company’s branch network, IT system upgrades, and cost reductions.

“Following a disappointing and challenging start to the year, we are beginning to see the benefits of the remedial actions put in place to address the various legacy issues,” said Speedy chief executive Russell Down. “These are early days in the Group’s recovery and the full benefits will only be realized over the medium term.”

Speedy Hire is based in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, U.K.

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