TOM Blackwood, owner of Stewarton-based Blackwood Plant Hire, has sold the business in a management buyout.
The Herald newspaper has reported that Mr Blackwood, who has sold the business for an undisclosed sum to a management team headed up by sales director Paul McCormack and plant manager Allan Wilson, now plans to develop a garden centre and country park.
Tom Blackwood bought Blackwood Plant Hire from his father, Tom Senior, 16 years ago. At that time the business consisted of just a few machines. The fleet grew over the years to over 250 machines and 150 employees.
Mr Blackwood will remain at the business in a consultancy role for two years and act as chairman.