Rental news highlights

By Murray Pollok23 April 2008

Spain's Ausa has appointed new distributors in Sweden and Denmark. Taking charge of Danish sales of its dump trucks will be Kastrup-based Svenningsens, a dealer of construction and agricultural equipment, including Bobcat. In Sweden, Entreprenad Maskin Specialisten (EMS) will sell Ausa dumpers. It already represents brands including Mecalac, Manitou and Hyundai. Ausa said it foresaw great potential to grow its sales in both countries, particularly in the rental sector.

Ingersoll Rand's Bobcat subsidiary, which is being sold to Doosan, has opened a new European logistics centre, called Megacentre Puurs II, at Puurs in Belgium. The100000 m2 facility, owned and operated by logistics specialist Fiege Group for Bobcat, supports its vehicle delivery and parts operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Located alongside the A 12 Antwerp-Brussel highway and close to the port of Antwerp and Brussels Airport, the centre will stock over 500000 parts and process more than 60000 parts orders per year, said Bobcat.

The market for construction equipment in Russia is likely to grow annually by around 20% up to 2009 according to a new market study by Polish-based consultant PMR. The company said demand was being driven by the boom in construction activity and the need to replace old, unreliable equipment. PMR said a shortage of reliable equipment meant that Russian contractors were looking to import western equipment, and that contractors increasingly using leasing schemes or rental to obtain equipment. For more on the report, call PMR on Tel: +48 12 618 90 30.

Vp plc's tool hire subsidiary, Hire Station, has acquired tool hire company ET Hire Ltd in Scotland for £1,1 million (€1,61 million) in cash. ET Hire, which has been trading for 14 years, has depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Livingston.

Indian construction rental company Quipo, part of the Srei Group, plans to raise US$100 million from private equity funds early next year, with two-thirds of the funds being used to expand its telecom tower business. Quipo plans to increase its inventory of telecom towers - which it then rents to telecoms providers - from 1200 to over 10000 over the next two years. This investment will see the proportion of Quipo's business from construction, currently 75%, fall to closer to 30%, with telecoms increasing to 60%. Quipo also plans to establish a rental operation in the Middle East through a subsidiary company.

Event rental company Classic Party Rentals has acquired Party Showcase in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Los Angeles-based company now has 25 locations nationwide. Classic will re-brand Party Showcase, founded in 1989, as Classic Party Rentals but keep it at the current Raleigh location. Mark Miller will remain as its manager.

UK rental company A-Plant has launched a safety campaign aimed at its customers, giving them information and products targeted at complying with existing and planned health and safety legislation in the UK. The Setting the Safety Standard campaign - which follows A-Plant's earlier Your Safety...Is Our Priority scheme - sees the rental company publish an enhanced version of its Site Safety Pack. The pack includes posters and stickers and a 60-page health and safety handbook giving information on subjects including hand-arm vibration, working in confined spaces, manual handling and the use of access scaffolds and ladders. Details at www.aplant.com

French equipment rental revenues grew by 8% on average in the second quarter of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006, according to the DLR's quarterly business trends report. The south west of the country followed by Paris and the north east were the fastest growing regions. The two main contributory factors, according to members, were utilisation - which averaged at around 58% during the quarter - and larger fleets. Higher rental rates were described as a factor by only a fifth of rental companies.

Speedy Hire has followed up its recent acquisition of Hewden's tool hire operation by buying Waterford Hire Services in the Republic of Ireland €6,5 million. Waterford is a two-depot business with 31 employees based in Waterford City and South Kilkenny in south east Ireland. Speedy already has rental businesses in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.

US company Compact Power Inc (CPI) has raised US$21 million in investment funds that will be focused on "maintaining the rapid growth of the company." CPI is privately owned and manufactures the Boxer range of compact utility loaders and attachments. Roger Braswell, CPI's chief executive officer, said; "We are expanding both our range of products and our distribution channels, and we are encouraged by the demand for our products overseas." The company has expanded in recent years in markets including the UK and Australia. In the UK, it recently appointed well-known engine distributor, E P Barrus, as its exclusive distributor for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

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