Former 3i portfolio business HSS Hire Services bought by Exponent Private Equity

HSS Hire Services has a new private equity owner following a sale to Exponent Private Equity for an undisclosed amount.


HSS Hire Services has a new private equity owner following a sale to Exponent Private Equity for an undisclosed amount.

Perry Capital and Och-Ziff Capital Management are handing over control of tool and equipment hire chain HSS Hire Services (HSS) following a sale to Exponent Private Equity.

The transaction represents a third private equity backer for HSS during its history. In 2003, the Davis Service Group, owners of HSS, sold the company through a management buy-in supported by venture capital firm 3i in a deal worth £310 million.

Four years later 3i disposed of its interest in HSS through a deal with the two recently exited investment firms.

HSS says it has traded ‘successfully and posted consistent growth’ during the past four years. It reports sales of £180.3 million for the preceding 12 months, up 5 per cent from the previous year, and producing a profit of £39.9 million.

Through the deal, the management team of Heathrow-based HSS is reinvesting as it looks to continue with its growth plans.

Chris Davies, chief executive officer at HSS, comments, ‘This transaction and future support from Exponent will help us unlock fresh capital needed to realise the next phase of our growth plan.’

HSS was owned by asset management funds Och-Ziff and Perry capital under the chairmanship of Archie Norman.

Oliver Bower, director at Exponent, says that the firm has tracked the progress of HSS for a number of years.

He adds, ‘It is clear that under Chris and his team’s leadership the business has made excellent progress against its strategic development plan and is well positioned as a trusted partner.

‘We believe there is enormous potential for the business to grow further and look forward to supporting the management team during what promises to be an exciting time for the business.’

Exponent is currently investing from its second fund and targets companies with an enterprise value of between £75 million and £350 million. Its active portfolio includes businesses such as mattress company Dreams, media firm The Gorkana Group and train booking website thetrainline.com.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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