Rutland-backed AFI secures £70m refinancing

AFI Group, the equipment rental business backed by Rutland Partners, has secured a £70m (€96.7m) refinancing package.

AFI, which specialises in leasing scissor lifts and other powered access products, has received the funding from asset-based lender PNC Business Credit. The package comprises a five year £55m ABL facility alongside a £15m term loan.

It will use the firepower to accelerate its growth in the UK and the Middle East as it seeks to consolidate the fragmented hire market. It has already completed three acquisitions in the UK this year. AFI generated sales of £55m and Ebitda of £19m last year.

“We were impressed with the AFI management team’s drive and enthusiasm, as well as the quality of the underlying fleet assets and cashflows which underpin the loan,” said Paul Beveridge, UK managing director of PNC Business Credit.

Rutland acquired AFI from Equistone Partners Europe in June 2013. Simultaneously it bolted on UK-based Hi-Reach and Middle Eastern operator Access Rental Gulf, valuing the total deal at £85m.