The merger of Milton Keynes-based AFI with Yorkshire company Uplift means that AFI has increased its rental fleet to more than 3,250 machines from 16 locations across the UK.

AFI, which acquired Milton Keynes-based Alan Drew in April last year began its expansion in 2002 and secured a £15 million investment package from Barclays Private Equity last year, believes the merger will place it in the top three in its market sector.

Director Nick Selley said the powered access rental sector was experiencing strong demand. He added: “We feel that there remain significant opportunities for growth, especially as a result of the new Work At Height regulations and the resultant need for safer methods of access.”

Milton Keynes-based corporate solicitors Kimbells advised AFI Holdings Ltd in both the Uplift merger and Alan Drew acquisition. The legal team was led by Kimbells’ corporate head jonathan Hambleton, supported by its banking specialist Mark Archer.

The simultaneous acquisition and refinancing involved in the merger was completed to a very tight timetable, Mr Hambleton said. “Due to external factors, when the deal finally came together we needed to deliver a legal solution very quickly,” he added. “We were delighted to have been able to meet the challenge of co-ordinating a complex transaction within a demanding timeframe.”

Pictured: AFI managing director David Shipman (centre) with Jonathan Hambleton, Kimbells’ head of corporate and solicitor, Ragavan Arunachalam at AFI’s Milton Keynes depot.

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