A LONG-ESTABLISHED Southampton firm specialising in the rental and sales of new and reconditioned sideloaders and forklift trucks has been bought out by a rival from Hull.

Windsor Materials Handling, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of forklifts and handling equipment has a Geolift Ltd for £3.3 million.

the deal was made possibel by funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

The acquisition is part of Windsor's expansion strategy – the company now has 13 operating locations across the country, including facilities in Birmingham, Chelmsford, East Kilbride, Peterborough and St Helens.

Established in 1977 by Chairman Gerry Burton, the family-run business offers clients a wide range of sales, service and hire services, offering a fleet of over 800 forklifts, pallet trucks, stackers and access platforms.

The firm is a leading regional and national partner to brands such as Doosan, Unicarriers, Baumann, Komatsu, Kalmar and JLG and serves major UK businesses including Cargill, British Sugar, Cranswick, Novartis, Howarth Timber, Metsä Wood and Sofidel. U

Under the leadership of Stephen and Jonathan Burton, the business has grown its annual turnover over the past ten years from £8.5 million to more than £24 million and has benefitted from a major growth in the UK logistics sector.

Geolift Ltd has been operating in and around Southampton for over 34 years and is one of the leading suppliers of forklift, sideloader and handling equipment on England's south coast.

Gerry Burton said: “Santander has delivered a competitive solution that has been fundamental in executing our latest acquisition in Southampton, a key market for us and one in which we intend to invest and grow. In addition to the local presence we will gain from the Geolift team, we hope to build up our existing customer-base across the South of England, and we plan to invest further in the business in terms of both additional personnel and infrastructure.”