The two largest rental businesses in Brazil, Mills Estruturas e Serviços de Engenharia S.A. and Solaris Equipamentos, are discussing a possible merger.

The terms of the deal have still to be finalised, but Mills said there would be an exchange of shares that would see Solaris shareholders holding 30.5% of the combined business stock.

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The merger of the two would create the largest rental business in Brazil by a considerable margin, combining Mills’ €73 million business with the €56 million Solaris operation.

It would also create one of the world’s top 25 aerial platform businesses with a combined fleet of around 8400 units (5723 units from Mills added to 2680 from Solaris).

Mills said the merger would “strengthen its outstanding position in the industry of equipment rental with a more attractive business portfolio, higher scale and better perspectives of growth and profitability, with an optimisation of the operations and the absorption of potential synergies.”

Both companies have suffered in recent years through the Brazilian economic recession. In the last 18 months alone Mills and Solaris have cut their fleets sizes by 16% and 23%, respectively.

Mills has more than 65 years of history in Brazil, while Solaris has operated in the Brazilian equipment rental market for 20 years. Solaris was originally owned by Sullair Argentina, but in 2013 was majority acquired by the private equity fund Southern Cross Group, with Sullair Argentina remaining a minority shareholder.

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