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Briggs UK completes Barloworld UK buy-out

Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 ( #586 ) - Cannock, United Kingdom
News Story
Briggs Equipment UK Ltd has now replaced Barloworld Handling UK as the sole UK dealer for Hyster products after finalising the acquisition of Barloworld Handling’s assets and facilities. It is now responsible for selling and servicing Hyster and Yale forklifts in the UK.

The acquisition means the company now has what it claims is the largest, multi-skilled mobile engineering workforce in the UK ( News #580).

Briggs CEO Richard Close says the addition of the Hyster brand will expand the company’s footprint and product offering in the UK. "This strategic growth brings more opportunities for our employees and an enhanced service to our customers, with greater product solutions and quicker response times."

A Briggs spokeswoman tells News that it is business as usual for Hyster customers. "Telephone numbers, visiting engineers and contact staff remain exactly as they were."

"Staff from Barloworld have transferred over [to Briggs] under [UK employment protection] legislation," she adds.

The challenge Briggs faces will be to change its market from a manufacture-driven model with "low levels of service", to a customer-focused model, where customer needs are more important than throughput in a factory.

"Briggs will deal with the challenges by empowering staff and managers to solve problems - to manage the business with the care and attention to detail as if it were their own. This model combined with a flat management structure has turned Briggs from losing GBP10 million (USD16 million) per annum when Finning sold it in 2006 to breaking even two years ago and making healthy profits since then," the spokeswoman says.

A Sammons Enterprises Inc company, Briggs UK is a subsidiary of Briggs International, which has Yale and Hyster dealerships in southern United States and in Mexico. Hyster Company and Yale Materials Handling Corp are operating divisions of NACCO Materials Handling Group.

Barloworld Handling UK has regional offices in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Cumbernauld, Doncaster, Gateshead, Hull, Leeds, Maidenhead, Plymouth, Southampton, Tamworth, Warrington, West Thurrock and Wrexham. News will publish a profile of Briggs Equipment in an upcoming newsletter. Despite challenging economic conditions in the UK, the company says it is bucking the trend and achieving success in the materials handling industry.
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