Adam Bruce sells AB2000


AB2000 on the move. Picture: Daniel Tetstall


By Mike Travers


AB2000, Scotland’s biggest hirer of operated plant, has been sold in a multi-million pound deal to rail plant company Quattro Group.

The deal was concluded on Friday and the news was given to employees at AB2000’s Glasgow HQ and Nairn and Aberdeen depots this morning.

Adam Bruce will remain with the organisation as an advisor and Jim Houstoun, currently AB2000’s chief executive officer, will become managing director. The deal sees the acquisition of all trading divisions including Ellon Plant Hire, Phoenix Weights and Phoenix Marine. The Glasgow hirer’s 450+ items of plant will double Quattro’s fleet.

Bruce said: “At AB2000 we have worked hard to succeed by hiring high quality, experienced people focused on providing our customers with leading-edge equipment and an outstanding customer service experience and I am confident that John Murphy and his team will continue with these core values.”

Murphy, Quattro Plant’s managing director, described the acquisition of the £30m turnover Glasgow business as “a natural partnership”.

AB2000’s Glasgow head office and two depots will merge with Quattro Group’s nationwide depot network. All staff will retain their roles and there will be no significant changes to key management. The plant hire division runs more than 300 items and there are also crane, rail, and concrete pump divisions. More than £10m is invested each year in new equipment.

Adam Bruce receives the award in 2014 for fastest-growing SME.

Adam Bruce, (73), is acknowledged as one of the country’s most influential plant men and is a former president of the Scottish Plant Owners’ Association. He launched AB2000 in 1995 after his original company, Adam Bruce Plant Hire, was forced into administration, an event that instigated a long-running saga that eventually saw his former company secretary jailed for fraud.

Turnover (£30m), profit, and operating margins have been increasing steadily in the last five years. In 2014 AB2000 was Scottish Business Insider’s fastest-growing SME award and a year later was recognised as the second most successful SME in Scotland.

Quattro Group was founded by John Murphy in 1989 and is a major supplier of operated road rail plant and also services the road and construction industries. It recently began a substantial upgrade of its core fleet.



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Article posted 14/5/2018