Speedy Hire to sell loss-making unit

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rental company Speedy Hire plans to sell its loss-making temporary accommodation hiring business to rival Elliott, the UK arm of North American modular building supplier Algeco Scotsman, in a cash deal for £34.9m, in an effort to reduce its debt pile.

The company, which had net debt of about £80m on 31 March, said the business made an estimated loss of £4.5m in the year.

Speedy’s accommodation hiring business provides a range of temporary accommodation and storage units, which are being used on projects in the UK including Crossrail and the Olympics.

The disposal will reduce the company’s borrowings and enable it to focus on higher margin operations, it said. Around 190 people work for the temporary accommodation business, which operates from 14 depots around the country. The disposal will result in a £16m loss on Speedy’s balance sheet.

The company said the deal would be completed by 30 April.