Ryder continues acquisition tear, buys England-based Hill Hire for $252M

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Ryder on Wednesday, June 8, announced it has acquired Bradford, England-based Hill Hire – an independently run and wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group and a U.K. market provider of commercial truck leasing, rental and maintenance – via a stock acquisition completed at a cash price of about $252 million.

“This significant acquisition underscores Ryder’s commitment to serving current and future customers in this important market with a broader range of vehicles and expanded maintenance capabilities and infrastructure,” says Greg Swienton, chairman and chief executive officer of Miami-based Ryder.

Ryder says the acquisition is expected to add about $147 million in annual revenue to its Global Fleet Management Solutions business segment and be accretive to Ryder’s earnings in 2011. Once the transition and consolidation process has been fully completed, the combined Ryder and Hill Hire business will operate under the Ryder name.

The acquisition adds about 4,000 heavy-duty vehicles, split evenly between contract hire (full-service lease) and commercial rental; ancillary equipment, including a large trailer fleet for contractual lease and rental; and the company’s work force of 300 employees, including maintenance technicians. The acquisition also encompasses all of Hill Hire’s 13 vehicle maintenance facilities located throughout the U.K.

“Hill Hire is a well respected and successful business serving the needs of national blue chip customers,” says David Hunt, vice president and managing director of Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder Europe. “The acquisition accelerates our growth strategy by expanding our fleet offering in the heavy-duty vehicle contract hire and rental market, as well as our customer base in a sector that we have targeted for expansion.”

Hunt cites several benefits in bringing the two businesses together. “Hill Hire’s heavy-duty vehicle fleet, which comprises 60 percent tractors, complements our existing fleet, which consists primarily of light- and medium-duty trucks,” he says. “Combined, we will be able to provide expanded fleet choices and value for customers, with additional payload and vehicle specification options to further strengthen the Ryder offering.”

Hunt says Hill Hire’s U.K. service facility network will enhance the geographic reach of Ryder’s business to better serve the needs of new and existing customers of the combined companies. “Our Ryder team looks forward to delivering enhanced value to our customers through expanded resources and fleet options that will drive higher levels of efficiency into their transportation operations,” he says.