ONE OF the oldest names in the plant hire industry, Cox Plant - which trades as Cox Hire Centres - has fallen into administration.Administrators Ernst & Young are looking to sell it as a going concern.
The West Midlands company was reformed as Cox Plant in 2002 after it was bought from Andrews Sykes for £9.3 million by a management buyout that included Keith Price, Paul Bamford and David Symon, backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The trio built the company up to be a national plant hirer with ambitions to catapult the business back into the top 10.
At the time of its last accounts for the year ending March 2003, it nFrom page 1 swelled its depot network to 28 after a spate of acquisitions.These included Surrey firm Elmbridge Plant and Stroud's Freeway Abba.
Its biggest buy was Llewellyn Plant from the Rok Group, through which it struck a threeyear sole supplier agreement. Cox operates from three bases in London, Milton Keynes and Eastbourne.
In the year ending March 2003, the company made a pre-tax profit of £412,697 on a £15.6 million turnover, which has since fallen to £8 million and its network has shrunk to just 11 depots.