December 9th 2022 – Today, Fox Group announces a groundbreaking deal to further solidify its national footprint of multi-faceted services, with the multi-million pound acquisition of B&W Plant Hire & Sales Limited, a major Plant Hire company with depots in Blackburn, Keighley, Northwich and Southampton.

The acquisition strengthens Fox Group’s market position with the addition of B&W’s extensive portfolio of plant, machinery, market knowledge and depots. Established in 1963, by Bill and Mary Whitwell, the company started with just one piece of equipment, a JCB 3C. Now, B&W operates a hire fleet of over 2500 items of modern equipment. Based out of four depots, B&W will now be able to offer clients the comprehensive range of extensive services that the Fox Group provides.

In announcing the acquisition, Paul Fox, CEO of Fox Group, commented, “B&W has a strong reputation with solid family values and a fantastic team who are passionate about their customers, which is aligned with the Fox Group culture. The acquisition of B&W adds a large amount of plant items to our already significant fleet of plant, tippers, specialist compact equipment and bulk haulage. The geographical spread of B&W’s depots also extends the reach of Fox Group, increasing our already extensive footprint across the UK.”
Andrew Partington, Managing Director at B&W, commented ““ I am very excited by the acquisition and the future growth it will bring to our team. I am proud to be the Managing Director of B&W within the acquisition by the Fox Group. Paul has shared the vision for the future, and myself and the B&W team look forward to the next stage of the B&W journey, together with the Fox Group. We are fully committed to the opportunities that will arise for the business and our customers.”

Will Whitwell, owner of B&W, commented “After a lifetime in the industry, and 25 years building B&W, I feel that the time is right for the next chapter in the company’s journey. Fox Group are a fantastic fit to hand B&W over to – Paul and his team are very dynamic and the future will be exciting for the company. Fox Group, like B&W, are a business based on true and honest values so this acquisition will also give the B&W team the security they deserve, and enable B&W to offer further services and products to our customers.
I would like to thank the loyal customers of B&W and I can assure them that the B&W standards will remain with the existing workforce.
My heartfelt thanks go to the brilliant team within B&W, for their dedication and loyalty. And finally to Bill, my father, for giving me the opportunity to work alongside him and grow the business to what it has become today.”

John Flood, Fox Group C.O.O commented “ Our acquisition of B&W makes perfect sense for the Fox Group. B&W has an excellent reputation and great potential for growth. Our focus is to provide a broader range of services to our customers and this deal will provide the Fox Group with added capability”.
In the past three years Fox Group has continued to deliver its strategy to expand its scope and scale, with the latest acquisition further solidifying the groups national operations. Through organic and acquisition growth, the group, consisting of Fox Brothers (Lancashire), Fox Properties, Hurt Plant Hire, CMP, Celplas, JJ O’Grady Ltd, Blackledge Plant Hire, CRH Plant Hire, Woods Waste, Midland Site Services and now B&W Plant Hire Sales Limited, boasts 30 locations, a 300 wagon fleet, 4500 items of plant and machinery as well as employment for 700 people.

The Group, founded in 1932 by Jack Fox who handed the reigns to his son Harold Fox (HF), known as Barney, in the 1970’s, is well positioned to continue to deliver strong revenue growth and solid financial returns, providing the platform to deliver its long-term plan.

The transaction was supported by Close Brothers, the FTSE 250 Merchant Bank. Andrew Metcalfe, Corporate Sales Director commented “We are delighted to assist Fox Group with this transaction and to help the group expand nationally.” Close Brothers have a long-standing relationship with Fox Group. Paul Fox further commented that “With this, as with previous acquisitions we are grateful for the ongoing support of Close Brothers, whose commitment to support our commercial strategy is enabling us to realise our ambition for growth”. Fox Group were advised by Hill Dickinson.

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