In 1961 Matthew Goodwin established Hewden (Plant Hire) and Ronnie Stuart established RG Stuart Plant.
Discussions commenced between the two companies in 1967 and on 16 May 1968 Hewden Stuart was born after a merger was agreed.
By Hewden Stuart's tenth anniversary year in 1978 they were reporting an £84m turnover with a £6.5m profit. In 1980, turnover exceeded £100m, making Hewden Stuart the first company of its kind to break this barrier.
In 1988 the group encompassed seven separate divisions with 210 depots, over 70,000 items of plant and over 3,000 employees. The group also invested £42m in expanding and modernising its fleets.
The company continued to grow through acquisitions and in 1999 Hewden re-branded resulting in every division trading under one name: Hewden.
In 2001, Hewden accepted an offer to be acquired by Finning International Inc and became part of a highly successful international business.
In 2005, Hewden held its first auction, now an annual event, as a platform to sell quality used equipment and re-invest in the rental fleet, reducing the average age profile of equipment. Attracting international buyers from across the globe, the Hewden Auction is now Europe's largest disposal of construction equipment, vehicles, cranes and associated items.
A £14m investment was made in a new IT system launched in 2007. The 'Movex' system meant that each customer now had one account, one price list and standard terms and conditions, making the whole hiring process simpler.
Hewden went through a number of changes to ensure alignment to its strategy: focusing on being a national provider of general construction plant and construction equipment, with a particular emphasis on Caterpillar and a select range of other complementary leading manufacturers. This resulted in the divestment of its tool hire business in 2007 and the hoist business in early 2008.
Today, Hewden is the market leader in the construction rental industry employing almost 1,400 rental professionals and leads its field in the provision of outstanding Environment, Health and Safety advice and best practices to all its stakeholder groups. As part of a global organisation, Hewden is continuing to forge ahead and is working effectively to leverage its strengths across the business to deliver outstanding customer solutions across a wide range of industry sectors.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc acquired the company in 2010. Sun Capital Partners Inc are a leading U.S.–based investment firm focused on investments in market–leading companies that can benefit from its in–house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in and managed more than 215 companies worldwide since Sun Capital’s inception in 1995, with combined sales in excess of £19 billion (US $37 billion).