WESTERN Australian-headquartered materials handling company, United Equipment, has acquired east coast player Westerns Forklift Service in a move it claims gives it a substantial base in the Victorian marketplace. AMP Capital Investor Private Equity owns 56 per cent of United Equipment, with business owner Laurie Puddy remaining chairman and a stakeholder. United Equipment was established in August 2005 after a merger between the Welshpool-based WA Forktrucks and WA Access, which also owned and operated NT Forktrucks. Mr Puddy owned and operated the business for more than two decades, growing WA Forktrucks and Access to a turnover of almost $80 million, before AMP stepped in to fund its growth. During the past 10 months, United Equipment has embarked on a series of acquisitions in Victoria, which has resulted in the purchase of two other principal operators, WAGMAC in Dingley and DFS in Geelong. Since August 2005, United Equipment has increased turnover of $79 million to $150 million with the inclusion of this recent takeover.
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