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Continued Growth with Castles Marquee Acquisition

MEDIA RELEASE

Hirepool Continues National Growth with Castles Marquee Acquisition

Auckland, 30 January 2008: New Zealand Equipment Rental leader Hirepool has continued to strengthen its foothold in the expanding Hire market with the acquisition of Castles Marquee and Party Hire, which takes effect on February 1.

Tenby Powell, Chief Executive of Hirepool parent company, Rakino Group, says the purchase is “a strategic acquisition in the rapidly expanding event and functions market where we had been lacking an upper North Island presence.”

Established in 1989 ‘Castles’ has established a reputation as one of Auckland’s premier specialist event hire operators. Initially specialising in weddings and corporate functions the business has grown into supplying large events like Round the Bays, National Fieldays, Auckland Wine & Food Festival and supporting the Ellerslie Events Centre with a range of marquees on their big race days.

“There are a number of synergies that exist with ‘Castles’ and other Rakino Group companies,” says Mr Powell. “It will now enable us to offer a full package to the big events comprising marquees, generators (Hirepool Energy), portable toilets (Port-A-Loo), commercial vehicles (Henderson Rentals) and crowd control and vehicle barriers (Barricading Solutions).”

While ‘Castles’ has just one location in Auckland, Mr Powell says “we will link this with our existing event hire branches in Gisborne, Nelson and Dunedin with a view to taking this capability nationally. It is worth noting that the Castles team exported their skills to Tonga for the Royal Wedding for 2000 people, and we will continue to explore similar offshore opportunities in the future.”

Mr Powell says he is delighted that Castles Marquee and Party Hire owner Mike Elliott has remained as the branch manager and he confirmed that all existing fulltime staff will be retained.

Mr Elliott says he had been looking at options to “establish a relationship with a stronger partner, and I am convinced that Hirepool will provide us with the experience needed to grow the business.”

This latest acquisition takes to 72 the number of Hirepool branches and other business units Rakino Group has throughout New Zealand.

ENDS

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