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Ashtead, the equipment rental firm, is to set up a 10,000 sq ft office at 100 Cheapside in the City of London.

Ashtead Group has acquired Accession Group, the Derbyshire-based provider of temporary access rental services, and its Eve Trakway subsidiary for £28m.

Ashtead has sold Ashtead Technology Rentals, the supplier of subsea equipment with 14 sites in the UK, North America and Singapore, to a management buy-out backed by Phoenix Equity Partners for £96m.

Ashtead Group has acquired Lux Traffic Controls, the Wiltshire-based supplier of traffic control systems with a nationwide network of 44 depots, for £16m.

Ashtead is to acquire NationsRent, the US construction equipment rental company, for £548m.

Ashtead Group has acquired Northridge Equipment Services, the US-based equipment rental company with five depots in California, for £40m.

Ashtead has sold its Irish chain of 15 plant hire outlets to McCormick Macnaughton for £12m.

Ashtead has raised £6m from the disposal of certain non-core businesses, including the sale of the rental assets of its Big Air division to Speedy Power and its mast climbing work platforms to Mastclimbers.

Ashtead, the plant hire company, is to open a new head office in Warrington to replace sites in Haydock, Bootle, Leatherhead and Walsall Wood, as part of a cost-cutting programme.

Ashtead is to expand its equipment hire business in the US by opening six more depots and will also set up separate scaffolding centres.

Ashtead has acquired Response Rentals, the US environmental equipment hire company, for £4m.

Ashtead has bought part of Birse's BPH plant hire business for £1.6m, including the hire fleet, motor vehicles and trading contracts.

Ashtead, the industrial hire company, has acquired UK Plant for £20m.

Ashtead Group is to acquire Sheriff Holdings, the plant hire company with 51 depots, for £39m, and cost savings of £2m a year are expected to follow.

Ashtead Group, the plant hire concern, is acquiring Leada Acrow, which rents construction equipment in the UK and Ireland, for £16m and McLean of the US for £20m.