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Hirepool Cleans Up Nth Island Portable Sanitation

Hirepool Cleans Up North Island Portable Sanitation Market

Hirepool Limited has cleaned up the North Island portable sanitation market with the purchase of Port-a-loo Wellington.

The acquisition of Port-a-loo Wellington includes three key sites in Lower Hutt, Palmerston North and Napier, and makes Hirepool the dominant supplier of transportable toilets across the North Island following its acquisition of Port-a-loo Auckland in July.

The Port-a-loo deal follows hard on the heels of another new rental equipment branch opening by Hirepool in Palmerston North this week, which bridges the other recent openings in Hastings and New Plymouth to its three Wellington locations.

The portable sanitation market is estimated to be a $20 million business that is showing strong growth. As well as providing clean and hygienic sanitation on construction and commercial sites, transportable toilets are used in a variety of horticultural, viticultural, sporting and cultural events that attract thousands of visitors.

According to Port-a-loo Wellington owner, Graeme Shaw, the company’s clear market share will only be increased by Hirepool’s presence. “The hire market in this region has been growing rapidly, especially in the Hawkes Bay with its thriving horticulture wine industry,” says Mr Shaw. “The business has grown from being seasonal to year-round, and I believe there is room to capitalise even further.

“New Zealand’s portable toilet business is still very much in its infancy compared to countries like the States. There is huge potential for growth as more and more builders hire portable toilets for construction sites and people realise the importance of having sufficient toilets at parties, concerts and weddings where we install deluxe units. All the staff are excited about joining the Hirepool team as it moves us into a new era and offers great growth prospects.”

Hirepool Managing Director, Tenby Powell, says Port-a-loo Wellington’s inventory will be added to Hirepool’s existing portable equipment stock. “The purchase of Port-a-loo Wellington gives us uncontested dominance in this niche of the rental equipment market from Auckland to Wellington, and most centres in between.”

The purchase of Port-a-loo Wellington by Hirepool is part of a nationwide expansion objective put in place by Powell when he took over the business in July last year. At the time he made it clear that his vision was to make Hirepool New Zealand’s recognised market leader in equipment rental and related services. Since then, the company has demonstrated rapid and agile geographical growth through both acquisition and new site establishment. The company has also updated its corporate branding and is currently developing a dedicated Port-a-loo website.

“We are very pleased with progress thus far of what is still phase one of our roll-out plan. We are being very selective in the way we implement further expansion plans. The purchase of Port-a-loo, which is well established locally, particularly among builders and contractors, is yet another example of how we are placing special emphasis on our major markets and our selective strategy.”

Powell, the former chief executive officer of Projex Limited, was part of a consortium that bought Hirepool from Owens Group for $46.6 million at the end of May 2003. JB Were (NZ) Limited took a 51% stake through its Private Equity No. 1 Fund. Powell (through Hunter Powell Investments) and Owens Group each hold 24.5%.

Since the buy-out Hirepool has moved with agility and pace, particularly in the last 10 months, opening branches in New Plymouth, Takanini, Mt Maunganui, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Hastings, Christchurch and Dunedin; with Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, Whangarei and a further Christchurch branch soon to be added.

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