A lifting deal for Clearwater


Hirers of powered access machines, AFI Aerial Platforms and Uplift Platforms have merged in a deal with a £15 million investment from Barclays Private Equity.

Wakefield-based AFI Aerial Platforms is one of the UK’s fastest growing powered access rental businesses and has 15 depots generating a turnover of £20 million in 2006. Uplift Platforms, the northern access company, was formed in 2001 and has turnover of £5 million.

The new holding company, AFI-Uplift, will take second place in its market with 200 employees and over 3,200 powered access units.

Providing strategic investment advice on areas of the deal to Barclays Private Equity, Clearwater’s team were led by partner Mike Reeves with director Nick Holder and assistant director Nick Horrocks.

Reeves said: “We’re delighted to have provided advice to Barclays Private Equity who are backing the leading management team in a fast growing niche of the UK plant hire market.”

Barclays Private Equity investment director Steve O’Hare will join the board as a non-executive director added: “We are delighted to be supporting the merger of these successful businesses. We believe future consolidation opportunities exist to accelerate our growth.”

Nick Selley, previously from AFT and newly appointed corporate development director of AFI-Uplift says: “The merger of Uplift is a further tangible demonstration of our confidence in the future of the UK powered access rental sector as a whole. There are significant opportunities for growth, especially as a result of the new ‘Work At Height’ regulations and the need for safer methods of access, we are experiencing strong levels of demand.”