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Speedy Hire sells loss-making arm

A provider of temporary accommodation at high-profile sites such as the London Olympics and Crossrail has been sold in a deal worth £35M.

Tool rental firm Speedy Hire said its temporary accommodation business, which made an estimated loss of £4.5M in the year to last month, was being bought by rival Elliott, the UK arm of North American modular building supplier Algeco Scotsman.

Merseyside-based Speedy has also entered into a three-year partnership with Elliott under which the companies will make their products and services available to each other’s customers.

Speedy said excess capacity in the accommodation hire sector had exerted “significant” downward pressure on prices, resulting in poor levels of profitability at the business.

The disposal, which will result in a £16M loss on Speedy’s balance sheet, will reduce the company’s borrowings and enable it to focus on higher margin operations.

Around 190 people work for the temporary accommodation business, which operates from 14 depots around the country.

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