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May Gurney Bets on Icier U.K. Winters With Gritter Takeover

May Gurney Integrated Services Plc, which maintains Britain’s canals, agreed to buy TransLinc to add a provider of road gritters, school buses and mobile libraries for local councils.

The purchase includes 34.9 million pounds ($55.9 million) in cash and 30.7 million pounds of customer contract-backed fleet financing obligations, Norwich, England-based May Gurney said in a statement today. The purchase adds 50 clients, most of which are local authorities, and an order book of 85 million pounds.

May Gurney, whose activities include waste collection, is expanding its offerings as the fiscal squeeze prompts the U.K. government and local authorities to outsource services. The need for road gritters will increase because the service is “essential to keep the country going” and Britain has had cold winters in the past two years, Chief Executive Philip Fellowes-Prynne said in a telephone interview today.

The U.K. market to provide specialist-fleet services to cities and counties is worth 730 million pounds a year, and passenger-service business for local authorities is worth 3 billion pounds a year, according to May Gurney. The company bought Turriff Group Ltd, a Scottish utility infrastructure maintenance company, for as much as 13.6 million pounds in January.

May Gurney is still seeking acquisitions in the environment and utility sectors, Fellowes-Prynne said. “We still have the cash to do another Turriff-size deal,” he said.

May Gurney fell 0.8 percent to 299.75 pence at 10:01 a.m. in London trading, giving the company a market value of 210 million pounds.

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