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AMP Pencarrow Fund lifts NZ Crane Hire

8 December 2005

AMP Pencarrow Fund lifts NZ Crane Hire

Auckland, 8 December 2005 – New Zealand Crane Hire Ltd, Auckland’s largest crane hire company, is reaching for new heights with a $13 million investment from two AMP Private Capital funds jointly managed by Pencarrow Private Equity Ltd and AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited.

AMP Pencarrow will take a sizeable shareholding in the company with the balance remaining in the hands of the current management team – Deane Manley, Steve Handyside, Cameron McCahill, Eddie Hubbard and John Morrow, together with the Group’s Wellington based Chairman Bruce McCallum.

New Zealand Crane Hire Group CEO Deane Manley says the company aims to leverage the investment to become a $100 million operation in five years’ time, offering a world class one stop lifting solutions provider across the country.

“We have taken the company from being a $4 million business six years ago to a $25 million business today,” says Mr Manley. “The AMP Pencarrow investment gives us a strong capital base and capacity to grow that makes what we have achieved in the past six years pale in comparison to the opportunities ahead of us.

New Zealand Crane Hire, specialising in mobile crane hire, is the flagship of a group of companies including New Zealand Access Hire, which provides elevated work platforms, such as scissor lifts, booms and cherry pickers, and New Zealand Tower Cranes. The group currently has operations in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Wellington.

Pencarrow Private Equity executive director Rod Gethen said New Zealand Crane Hire has an exciting future. “We were impressed by the achievements to date of the team at New Zealand Crane Hire and their systematic and professional focus on health and safety, reliability and learning which we believe will keep them at the forefront of their industry. We were attracted to the opportunity to back a leading player that has a vision to become a national provider of lifting solutions in a growing yet fragmented industry”.

AMP Capital Investors Head of Alternative Assets, Murray Gribben said AMP Pencarrow had completed two investments and is to shortly announce a further successful transaction. “This investment highlights the growth and opportunities for investors in the private equity market”.
New Zealand Crane Hire Group General Manager Cameron McCahill says there is a huge untapped potential for the group in crane and access industries. “Cranes are obviously used in commercial and residential construction but we also do a lot of infrastructural work such as sewage treatment plants, water treatment, roading, bridge building and constructing new hospitals, correction facilities and schools.”

He said cranes were also used in many other ways. “In any given week we may lift an old house, erect pre-cast panels on a new warehouse, remove trees for replanting, install machinery in a factory, work on a demolition site, install a swimming pool, or move boats or sculptural artwork.”

Mr Manley said the company was very comfortable with AMP Pencarrow as an equity partner. ” AMP Pencarrow’s long term horizons and capacity to fund growth for the group while leaving the management unfettered in the day to day running of the businesses would make for an exciting and rewarding partnership.

“These guys have looked under all sorts of rocks to check us out and found nothing but praise for the New Zealand Crane Hire group of companies from our customers, our competitors, our financiers and overseas experts. They see an exciting future and are prepared to invest significant amounts of money because they believe in our brand, which would be nothing without the people who wear the shirts and drive the gear.”

Established in 1993, Pencarrow is the longest established private equity investor in New Zealand. It has invested more than $160 million in over 20 companies. Current investments include Donaghys, Methven, Kawau Kats, Formway Furniture, Wellington Drives, Restaurant Brands, Design Mobel, Ace Rental Cars, Pacific Horizon, CS Company and Eastern Equities.

ENDS

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