Belgian Bobcat dealer sells rental division to Boels Verhuur

By Murray Pollok01 July 2008

Bobcat's A300 skid steer loader fitted with its new HB2380 breaker.

Bobcat's A300 skid steer loader fitted with its new HB2380 breaker.

Boels Verhuur has acquired the rental business of Belgian Bobcat dealer, Vangaever, including both its Cat-Rent operation and its sister company BCL. Together, the acquisition gives Boels nine rental locations and revenues of approximately €10 million, boosting Boels' network in the country to 25 depots. The sale price was not disclosed.

At the same time Boels announced the acquisition of Netherlands party and events rental company, diff'Rent, one of the top five party/events rental specialist in the Netherlands. Diff'Rent has been operating for 23 years and has a single depot in Purmerend from where it services the northern part of the country. Current managing director Menno Renting will continue to run the business under its existing name.

Vangaever starting renting mainly Bobcat equipment under the Cat-Rent brand in Belgium in 1980 - the Cat-Rent brand is unrelated to Caterpillar's Cat Rental Store network - and since 1990 has also been renting aerial platforms. The deal does not include Vangaever's sales or service activities or the Bobcat dealership, which remain with Vangaever.

Pierre Boels, managing director of Netherlands-based Boels Verhuur, told IRN that the use of the Cat-Rent brand would be phased out within 12 months. He said the acquisition of Vangaever's rental operations were part of the company's strategy to expand its network in Belgium. Boels plans to open four new Greenfield sites in the country this year and hopes to have 40 locations in the country by the end of 2009.

The acquired business was run separately from the Bobcat dealership, said Mr Boels, with different facilities. He said the fleet was not dominated by Bobcat compact equipment, with up to 60% of the rental business comprising aerial platforms and telehandlers. Of the nine depots acquired, six are Cat-Rent locations and three are BCL. None of the existing senior managers at the acquired businesses will be staying with Boels.

Mr Boels said that as part of the acquisition, the two companies had agreed that Vangaever will provide equipment repair services for Boels in Belgium. This is a strategy that Boels has been pursuing for two years in all its European businesses, with spare parts purchased centrally by Boels but local managers tasked with finding good service partners.

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