Lancashire hauliers swoop for county plant hire business

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A growing Lancashire haulage company has swooped to buy a Bamber Bridge equipment hire firm.

Blackpool-based Fox Group has acquired long-established Blackledge Plant Hire in a deal which further increases its size and capacity. The acquisition is intended to strengthen the Group’s position as the North West’s leading haulage and plant hire specialist.

It will create a group with a combined turnover forecast to be around £85m in 2022.

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Paul Fox, managing director of the family-run Fox Group, said: “This acquisition makes perfect sense for us. Blackledge is a well-run business with great people and has a track record of providing excellent services to a wide range of clients in the local area. It also means that we get a welcome boost to the group’s existing fleet of quality vehicles and plant.”

Expanding hauliers group Fox Brothers has bought Blackledge Plant Hire Limited of Bamber BridgeExpanding hauliers group Fox Brothers has bought Blackledge Plant Hire Limited of Bamber Bridge
Expanding hauliers group Fox Brothers has bought Blackledge Plant Hire Limited of Bamber Bridge

Established in the 1970s, Bamber Bridge-based Blackledge Plant Hire has built a strong reputation as a plant hire specialist. A second generation, family-run business, it has 40 machines and 14 trucks.

Paul Fox added: “Blackledge Plant Hire is a welcome addition to the Fox Group. It is a major part of our Group’s continuing strategy of growth.”

The Fox Group has made several strategic moves to expand its capacity and reach in recent years. 2020 saw the acquisition of Hurt (Plant Hire) and in 2021, it welcomed JJ O’Grady to the group, as it continues to consolidate its position as one of the largest providers of haulage and plant hire services in Lancashire.

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With this latest deal, Fox Group now boasts a combined 230-strong wagon fleet and more than 440 items of plant and machinery, together with over 530 employees.

Throughout the deal, the Fox Group were advised by Hill Dickinson and Blackledge Plant Hire by Farleys.

Established in 1932, Fox specialises in the supply and haulage of aggregates, recycled materials, muck-shift, earthworks and civil engineering projects.

The Fox Group has recently announced a partnership with North West networking group, Shout Network, and will be Headline Partners at the three Shout Expos this year.

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March will see a UK first with the Group introducing two new Volvo FE Electric trucks. This is not only significant for the group but for the construction Industry in general, and a milestone in the drive to Net Zero. Additionally, it has recently taken on the Stevedore works at Glasson Dock, and also continues to support local prisons, providing numerous opportunities through the MoJ ROTL Scheme.