Altitude Access


“We had worked very hard to build a business from nothing into a successful and well regarded enterprise.  We were both conscious of the time ticking on and we had started to think about our own retirement plans so an exit from the business was on the cards.  However, there was no rush but we did recognise the need to get someone on board to guide us from early on.

John proved to be an ideal choice as an adviser.  He clearly knows the ropes and was considered, professional and very committed, as well as being easy to get on with.  He had some creative ideas including inviting an industry expert to review the business prior to going to market which proved very valuable. John emphasised the need to be patient.  He advised us not to progress with certain proposals and told us to wait for better offers to come along – which they did.  He also introduced us to a top rate legal firm and together the team pushed forward to complete a deal we were very happy with.”

Bill Thompson and Michael Burnett

Owner Founders of Altitude Access Limited


Altitude Access Limited was sold to the AFI group, backed by Private Equity firm Rutland Partners, for an undisclosed sum in a transaction advised by Skye Corporate Finance Limited.

Altitude Access Limited was established in 1996 by Bill Thompson and Michael Burnett and developed to be one of the leading independent suppliers of Powered Access equipment and associated training services to clients in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.  From its base near Mansfield, Altitude Access serviced customers across a broad range of sectors utilising its rental fleet of 180 machines that included Cherry Pickers, Scissor Lifts and Boom Lifts.

AFI is one of the fastest growing operators in the Powered Access sector with organic expansion supplemented by a series of acquisitions that have been undertaken since 2002.  AFI has locations across the UK and a presence in the Middle East and has a rental fleet of over 5,000 machines generating turnover in excess of £50m.

Skye Corporate Finance was initially appointed to assess the value of Altitude Access and the feasibility of a trade sale before moving on to be a lead adviser to Bill and Michael on the sale of the business.  This involved approaching potential purchasers on a confidential basis, negotiating and structuring the deal and project managing the transaction to completion.