Led by executive chairman David Shipman, who invested in the business in May 2002, AFI supplies powered access equipment for rent and sale, along with a range of related training courses. AFI operates a fleet of over 5,000 aerial work platforms from 25 depots across the UK and the Middle East.
“PNC Business Credit was delighted to provide a five-year committed facility of £70m to support AFI in its continued growth plans,” said Paul Beveridge, UK managing director of PNC Business Credit. “We were impressed with the AFI management team’s drive and enthusiasm, as well as the quality of the underlying fleet assets and cashflows which underpin the loan.”
The refinancing deal has given the business access to a £55 million ($59.75 million) asset backed lending facility, alongside a £15 million ($16.3 million) term loan, providing AFI with additional financial firepower as it seeks to continue growing in both the UK and the Middle East. Having already completed three UK acquisitions this year, the group will now target further acquisitions as it seeks to take advantage of consolidation opportunities in the fragmented UK hire market. AFI will also continue to look at opportunities to extend its depot footprint in key strategic areas of the UK and the Middle East.
“This is a good deal for AFI and will enable us to continue taking advantage of both acquisition and organic growth opportunities as we head into an important period of growth for the group,” said Shipman, chairman of AFI. “We have built a great team at AFI and, by continuing to focus on providing excellent customer service, we are well placed to grow further in the coming years. Our Middle East operations continue to grow, and with further depot openings planned for early 2016, we remain confident in the medium-term prospects for the region.”