Prohire welcomed Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, to its headquarters in the city to learn how private equity and investment is helping drive rapid growth and fuel its ambition to lead the charge in sustainable vehicle hire.
Since 2018, when NorthEdge Capital acquired a majority stake in Prohire via a management buyout, the company, which provides commercial vehicle hire and fleet management solutions, has see rapid growth.
Prohire currently employs over 80 people across its Stoke-on-Trent HQ and its depot in Tunbridge Wells, and has invested in a new vehicle maintenance unit (VMU) at each site.
Jay Edwards, chief operating officer at Prohire, said: “Private equity investment supports and helps SMEs to grow and thrive, transforming high-potential businesses. NorthEdge takes a partnership approach, working with the management team to achieve our aspirations and goals.
"Thanks to NorthEdge’s backing we’ve been able to invest in local people, systems and sustainable infrastructure which will allow us to achieve our potential at a faster pace than we could do alone.”
In 2021, Prohire launched its sustainable vehicle hire and alternative fuels division ProGreen to support its customers in achieving their net zero ambitions by decarbonising fleets. Last year ProGreen supported over 450 businesses in developing their fleet ESG strategy.
Through ProGreen, Prohire has also added electric, hybrid, and connected vehicles to its fleet. Over 10% of new vehicles deployed by Prohire in 2022 featured an alternative technology, with a target to increase this to 30% in 2023.
Pat Skelly, Prohire chief executive, said: “It was a great pleasure to host Jo at Prohire and show her what we’ve been able to achieve in the last five years thanks to the investment by NorthEdge Capital.
"It’s an exciting time for the Prohire Group as the business grows, particularly in the areas of sustainable vehicle hire and alternative fuels.
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“We were able to discuss the part we’re playing in helping the government reach its Green Industrial Revolution deadline and Net Zero targets.
"We also talked about being a proud employer in Stoke and our commitment to finding and training new talent from the local community, particularly for highly skilled technical roles.”
Gideon, who is a Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said: "I was genuinely impressed by my visit to Prohire. Witnessing their remarkable growth and sustainability efforts was inspiring.
"Their dedication to local employment and their alignment with the government's net zero targets are truly commendable. Prohire serves as a shining example of how private equity can drive positive change and bolster thriving businesses within our community."
Michael Moore, director general of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), added: “The BVCA are delighted to have facilitated a visit to Prohire for Jo Gideon MP, who has been able to witness first-hand how this fantastic business can, and is, playing a leading role in providing sustainable vehicle hire.
“Prohire is one of many examples of how private equity and venture capital are supporting businesses to invest and grow”.
Pictured left to righ tare Gary Banister, group operations director; Jay Edwards, chief operating officer; Jo Gideon MP and chief executuve Pat Skelly.