Smith completes US deal

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Smith Electric Vehicles US has completed the purchase of its UK-based parent company, Smith Electric Vehicles (UK).

Following the $15 million sale, Smith UK’s current owner, the Tanfield Group, will retain 49 per cent equity in Smith Electric Vehicles US.

Bryan Hansel, chief executive of the US business, said: “Being in a position to unify Smith’s divisions after less than two years of operating in the United States is evidence that the market for affordable, sustainable commercial fleets is fertile. The unification of Smith Electric Vehicles will create operational efficiencies and market synergies that will make Smith more financially sound and productive.”

Smith Electric Vehicles started life in the 1920s as an offshoot of Ringtons, the Newcastle-based tea importer, becoming well known for its milk floats before moving into the commercial vehicle market with the Edison and the Newton.

Tanfield, which also makes powered access vehicles, saw sales fall by 60 per cent to £58m between 2008 and 2009 producing an EBITDA loss of $18.5m for 2009.

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