Acquisitions activity and industry growth lead the year’s headlines
Editor’s note: While 2013 was marked nationwide by government stalemates and natural disasters, the equipment rental
industry news was focused on acquisitions activity, Ahern Rentals emerging from bankruptcy and the continued revenue growth of the industry outpacing the general economy.
- A 10-year exclusive distribution deal between CNH Global, Burr Ridge, Ill., and Kobe Steel, Japan, expires, unwinding their joint ownership and equity participations in all the companies formed in connection with their previous alliance and eliminating any geographical exclusivity rights associated with their agreements.
- Sumitomo Corp., through its subsidiary SMS International Corp., increases its interest in Sunstate Equipment Co., Phoenix, to 80 percent. Existing management members continue to operate the business and remain in their current roles.
- The Rental Show returns to Las Vegas, where an extremely active trade show floor, sold-out seminars, and positive energy and enthusiasm reflect an equipment rental industry continuing its upward trend. Equipment rental revenue growth continues to outpace the growth of the general economy by more than four times and is forecast to maintain that growth rate in 2014 and beyond. Attendance in 2013 marks the fourth straight year of increased growth, including participants from throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as more than 40 other countries. The number of rental businesses represented this year is the highest since 2006. The ARA Foundation raises nearly $95,000 during the show from donations and its annual charity auction.
- Terex Corp., Westport, Conn., enters into a contract to divest its roadbuilding operations in Brazil and certain mobile roadbuilding product lines in the U.S. to the Fayat Group.
- Titan Machinery, West Fargo, N.D., acquires Tucson Tractor Co., a Case Construction equipment dealership located in Tucson, Ariz.
- EDCO — Equipment Development Co., Frederick, Md., launches a new manufacturing division, EDCO Fabrication, after investing in new manufacturing technology.
- Speedy Hire, a provider of tool and equipment for hire, enters its U.K. & Ireland Asset Services division into a contract with National Grid to provide hired plant and equipment under a managed services agreement, worth up to £6 million (US$9.8 million) per year over at least a three-year period.
- Nissan Forklift Corp., North America, joins forces with TCM America under a new name, UniCarriers Americas Corp., which will encompass five brands: Nissan Forklift, TCM, Atlet, Barrett and UniCarriers.
- The American Rental Association (ARA) hosts its annual National Legislative Caucus in Washington, D.C., where more than 80 ARA members from 37 states meet with elected officials.
- Kobelco Construction Machinery USA opens its new North American headquarters in Houston in order to once again directly market its excavators in the United States and Canada.
- Atlas Copco, Stockholm, Sweden, closes on the acquisition of U.S-based Rapid-Torc, which develops and markets hydraulic torque wrenches. The acquisition broadens Atlas Copco’s product range and extends its expertise to new customers.
- The Hertz Corp., Park Ridge, N.J., and Florida Gov. Rick Scott announce plans to move the worldwide headquarters for Hertz from New Jersey to Estero, Fla., relocating up to 700 jobs over a two-year period.
- Haulotte Group, L’Horme, France, forms a new subsidiary, Haulotte India, based in Mumbai, India. The company says there are many opportunities in emerging countries, particularly in India.
- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada confirms the Second Amended Plan of Reorganization, as amended, presented by Ahern Rentals, Las Vegas. The plan confirmation paves the way for the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by month’s end. The company says that with its emergence from bankruptcy, it is positioned well from both an operational standpoint and capital structure to continue growing.
- Mike Flesher, owner of Taylor Rental Center, Vestal and Ithaca, N.Y., and chairman of the board of the American Rental Association (ARA), travels to Sydney, Australia, to represent ARA at the annual Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) convention and exhibition. He also visits several branch locations of Kennards Hire and Camden Hire as part of ARA’s continuing outreach to further international relationships through membership in the Global Rental Alliance.
- The Obama Administration announces that the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires businesses to provide their workers with health insurance, will be delayed by a year. The new implementation date for this provision is Jan. 1, 2015.
- HSS Hire Services Group, the U.K. supplier of tools, equipment and related services, acquires UK Platforms, the powered access specialist, from the Haulotte Group. The transaction makes HSS the second-largest provider in the powered access market in Britain and Ireland.
- Greg Nelson, ARA of Idaho president and general manager of Brown Rental in Boise, Idaho, participates in the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship round table entitled Small Business Tax Reform: Making the Tax Code Work for Entrepreneurs and Startups in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, because of his visit with the senator about Section 179 during ARA’s National Legislative Caucus in April.
- Automated Rental Management (ARM), San Antonio, a rental software supplier, meets all of the American Rental Association (ARA) qualifications and requirements for ARA Rental Market MetricsTM certification.
- United Rentals, Stamford, Conn., acquires Rent World, a construction equipment rental company serving the Keystone Pipeline marketplace in central Alberta with two facilities in Wainwright, Alberta, Canada.
- BOMAG, Kewanee, Ill., announces plans to relocate its business to a yet unnamed location in the southern U.S. The company also states that they will cease manufacturing operations in Kewanee by the end of 2014.
- Terry Turner, current ARA Party & Event Services Shared Interest Group (SIG) chairman and president of All Occasions Party Rentals, Knoxville, Tenn., is elected as the American Rental Association’s president-elect, effective at the end of The Rental Show 2014 in Orlando, Fla., and will take the gavel as president at the conclusion of The Rental Show 2015 in New Orleans.
- JCB, Savannah, Ga., partners with Kohler’s Global Power Group to produce engines for JCB’s compact equipment. JCB adopts a range of fuel-efficient Tier 4 Final/Stage IIIB engines from Kohler’s Global Power Group, for many of its compact machine lines. The water-cooled Kohler Direct Injection (KDI) engines will be branded JCB Diesel by Kohler.
- The American Rental Association (ARA) and the ARA Foundation distribute a newly developed membership directory, open a Member-to-Member Forum and launch a new website page exclusively for members of the ARA Young Professionals Network. The new communication venues are designed to help rental professionals between the ages of 18 and 40 network better, learn from each other and develop the skills needed to build strong and lasting careers in the equipment rental industry.
- Sunbelt Rentals, Fort Mill, S.C., acquires the business and assets of Contractors’ Equipment Co., a general tool company based in Joplin, Mo. The company says the acquired locations are complementary to the company’s recent new store openings in Memphis, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo.
- Worldwide Power Products (WPP), Houston, signs a partnership agreement with Hipower Systems®, making WPP the sole authorized Texas distributor for Hipower’s standby backup generators.
- Classic Party Rentals, Los Angeles, forms a partnership with American Furniture Rental (AFR), Pennsauken, N.J. The partnership will offer AFR’s lines of residential, special events, staging and office furniture at the majority of Classic Party Rental’s 35 locations.
- Xtreme Manufacturing, Las Vegas, the telehandler manufacturing company owned by Don Ahern, owner of Ahern Rentals, Las Vegas, signs an agreement for the staged acquisition of aerial lift manufacturer Snorkel, Elwood, Kan., from its U.K.-based owner, The Tanfield Group.
- Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) introduce legislation that would delay the health insurance tax (HIT), an element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), for two years. The HIT was originally scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2014, and its repeal has been a focus of the American Rental Association’s (ARA) government affairs efforts.
- Hipower Systems, Lenexa, Kan., signs an agreement with John Deere Power Systems (JDPS) to package its Tier 4 final diesel engines into Hipower generators.
- JCB responds to the typhoon disaster in the Philippines by donating machines and generators worth more than $500,000 to assist in the aftermath of the catastrophe.
- Kobelco Construction Machinery USA breaks ground on a new U.S. headquarters facility in Katy, Texas, having signed a nine-year lease agreement with plans to occupy the new 101,300-sq.-ft. facility by September 2014.