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Charles Wilson Expands Its Reach

Charles Wilson Expands Its Reach with New Deal

Charles Wilson acquires MTS Plant Hire and continues growth in the equipment rental industry

National equipment rental giant Charles Wilson expands its reach with the acquisition of Wakefield, West Yorkshire-based MTS Plant Hire, as part of its ongoing expansion and development plan. The company also purchased the business of M&J Hire Centres last year, in a move that took Charles Wilson to 30 depots across the UK.

MTS Plant Hire acquisition points to continued expansion at Charles Wilson

Established in 1986, MTS Plant Hire offered a range of equipment, including skid steer loaders, mini excavators and site dumpers.  The self-financed acquisition will give Charles Wilson’s equipment rental division CW Plant Hire, the second largest fleet of skid steers in the UK. The company already boasts one of the country’s leading telescopic handler fleets, with a growing number of specialist Roto machines.

“We’re delighted to add MTS Plant Hire to the Charles Wilson family. With a great fleet of machinery and a fantastic team, this deal really strengthens our position as one of the UK’s leading plant hire companies,” said David Gallagher, Chief Executive.

The Growth of Charles Wilson Plant Hire

The business now has more than 1,000 products available, through its CW Plant Hire, CW Instant Hire, CW Instant Power and CW Access Hire divisions. With more than 400 staff and in excess of £200m in equipment assets, the company is actively seeking additional opportunities, that will lead to further acquisition and expansion in the future.

Speaking following the M&J acquisition last year, Mr Gallagher said: “We will be pushing towards £90m in year one and the target will be more than £100m in revenues in year two.”

Expanding The Team

More than equipment however, the deal provides Charles Wilson with a team of experienced engineers and drivers, to complement its own offering. The management team recognises that its people are among the company’s most important assets and are determined to retain the long service expertise and experience that is present in its businesses going forwards. 

With continued expansion very much a focus of the future, Charles Wilson is keen to see further growth in the company’s apprenticeship programme, which this year aims to take on a record number of apprentices and trainees.

“The culture and dedication of our staff is incredible and we are looking to attract more young people into the business,” said Mr Gallagher.

This focus on qualifying operatives is not limited to its own staff, Charles Wilson Plant Hire operates a training centre for forklift, telehandler and aerial work platform operators at its Hayes depot to the West of London. “We will be looking at the possibility of additional training centres around the country as we continue to expand,” said Mr Gallagher.

A Family Business

Charles Wilson Engineers was formed in 1979 in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, by Charles Gallagher and David Wilson. M&J Hire also started trading in Herts, in 1955, with the involvement of the Gallagher family. As the two companies developed, M&J formed a close cooperation with the family-owned Irish house builder Abbey Homes, while Charles Wilson was more closely associated with Matthew Homes in England. Both of these house building businesses are now back under family ownership.