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Long established UK specialist forklift truck provider Stantone Mechanical Handling has been sold. In a deal handled by corporate finance specialists Watersheds of Swindon, Nigel Martin has become the new owner of the Northampton-based company.

Stantone Mechanical Handling is a large forklift truck company and has built a reputation for solving customers’ material handling needs since it was founded more than 50 years ago. It is the area distributor for Jungheinrich and Clark forklift trucks.

Nigel has 20 years’ experience in the material handling sector with Samuk Ltd and Jungheinrich UK Ltd, both in sales and general management roles.

Having worked with Stantone Mechanical for many years and given the impending retirement of the owner, Robert Hall, Nigel was delighted to pursue the opportunity.

He approached Watersheds, along with business advisor Peter Gubb, to assist with the purchase of the business.

He said: “When Robert mentioned to me that he was looking to retire I was immediately interested in buying him out. We approached Watersheds to advise on the process and they assisted in the negotiations and arranged the finance I needed to complete the purchase.

“Throughout the process I found David a great support. David introduced the funders to me and recommended DFA Law to complete legal due diligence and completion.

“Peter Gubb, as business advisor, nursed me through the whole process and completed the financial terms with due diligence. I was very pleased with the support of all my advisors both during the deal and post completion.”

David Fletcher, Watersheds Partner, said: “Stantone is a long standing and well run organisation with a strong customer service ethos. It is very satisfying to assist an individual to make the leap from working for organisations to fulfilling his dream of owning and running his own company.

“Nigel and his wife will build on the existing success of the business and plan to grow the organisation across the region. Robert Hall is staying with the business for a year and I wish them all every success in this new phase for Stantone.”

Global provider Imperial Logistics International has announced two new key appointments. Marc-Oliver Hauswald (46), pictured, becomes Director Business Unit Shipping, Dry from 1 April onwards. The graduate in business management will provide dual leadership in this position with Thomas Küpper (50), who is also Director Business Unit Shipping, Dry. Both men will gear this line of business towards the challenges of the future.

Before joining Imperial Logistics International on 1 February this year, Hauswald worked as manager of the internationalisation, corporate development and finances departments at the port services company, Buss Port Logistics (Hamburg). Prior to this, he held various management positions at logistics companies with international operations. He is also co-managing director of the Buss Imperial Logistics (BIL) joint venture, a company, which guarantees supplies of raw materials and aggregates for the Krupp Mannesmann (HKM) smelting works in Duisburg and operates the works port there.

The Dry business is still one of the segments that generates the highest turnover in the Imperial Transport Solutions division. Using its own fleet of motor vessels comprising about 200 units with subcontractor owner-operators, which makes it one of the largest push-boat fleets in Europe, the company specialises in transporting coal and ores, metals and steel products, cereals, fertilisers and timber products. In geographical terms, the company covers the complete river Rhine area, including its tributaries and canals, France, the Benelux countries and the states bordering on the rivers Main/Danube. The company also provides logistics solutions particularly geared to meet the demands of the steel, aluminium and power station industries – and plant construction.