A-PLANT has snapped up three divisions of Hewden after the hire specialist fell into administration.
Administrators EY said 251 people have been made redundant across Hewden’s depot and on-site locations.
Hewden joint administrator Sam Woodward said, “Management has been attempting to operationally reshape the business to focus on higher margin and quicker returning assets and services. However, this has proven challenging with the Group’s capital structure and the recent trading environment. Management recently undertook a number of initiatives including approaching new funders and potential acquirers to recapitalise the business, but unfortunately these efforts proved unsuccessful.”
The Unite union described the Hewden administration news as a ‘sickening blow’ as it pledged to fight to secure as many jobs as possible.
Bernard McAulay, Unite national officer said, “This is a sickening blow for workers in the run up to Christmas and is the result of a succession of venture capitalists hawking Hewden around the market over a number of years to make a quick buck.
“Unite will be fighting to secure the futures of Hewden workers and supporting them in any way we can through this difficult time. We are currently in contact with the administrators over the transfer of workers to A-Plant, in addition to other crane operators and plant hire companies to try and find work for under threat Hewden workers.
“Unite will also be working closely with the administrators to ensure worker’s aren’t short changed out of their pensions and that a future for the company’s workers can be secured.”
A-Plant acquired assets from EY for a cash consideration of £29 million. The assets comprise the powered access and power generation fleet of Hewden, five on-site depots which service petrochemical customers and the Interlift lifting and materials handling business. The Hewden brand name was also acquired.
A number of Hewden’s employees will be joining A-Plant.
A-Plant chief executive Sat Dhaiwal said, “This acquisition significantly enhances A-Plant’s offering in the industrial sector where we have been keen to develop our capabilities for some time.
“We are pleased to be taking over a number of important on-site depots at major petrochemical facilities and will ensure that a high level of service is maintained for all customers through the integration process.”