Hull-based Windsor Materials handling acquires Geolift Ltd following £3.3m in funding from Santander

Hull-headquartered Windsor Materials Handling, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of forklifts, access and materials handling equipment (MHE), has acquired Southampton-based Geolift Ltd following £3.3 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial. The acquisition, part of its regional expansion strategy, means Windsor 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. 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 over £24 million.

Windsor has benefitted from a major investment strategy and growth in the UK logistics sector, and has positioned itself to cater for the strong demand for locally-based MHE support. Part of this has been the development and expansion of its UK branch network, with the firm looking for acquisitions to support its geographic spread and wider growth ambitions. 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, Chairman, Windsor Materials Handling, said: “We have gone from strength to strength in a highly competitive business in a contested market, and we have strong aspiration for continued growth and expansion. 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.”

Barry Haslam, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this prestigious Hull-based business as it invests for growth. Windsor Materials Handling already has a presence in Chelmsford and Slough but this acquisition will increase its regional footprint and provide access to a key southern port. We are pleased to fund its expansion and will continue to work with the team to deliver specialist expertise and support its development in a high growth market.”

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