Arcomet plans global expansion

25 April 2008

L to R: Dirk Theyskens, managing director, Arcomet Group, Luc Theyskens, managing director, Arcomet

L to R: Dirk Theyskens, managing director, Arcomet Group, Luc Theyskens, managing director, Arcomet France, Christophe Simoncelli, area manager, Potain France, Frans Wouters, joint managing director,

The world's largest tower crane rental company, Arcomet Group, has detailed its plans for worldwide expansion in 2006 that will see it invest heavily in the US, Europe and the UK.

The company has ordered 230 new Potain cranes, valued at approximately €30 million (US$35 million), for its rental fleets in Europe, all to be delivered in 2006 and 2007. Some units will also be used in Arcomet's operations in Benelux, Germany and France.

In the UK, where there is a new dealership agreement with Potain, Arcomet expects to have between 250 and 300 cranes in its own rental fleet of two new companies by 2008, comprising up to 100 top slewing tower cranes, and 200 to 300 self-erectors. Arcomet Tower Cranes will rent and sell Potain top slewing tower cranes and Potain UK will retain certain “house” customers.

Managing director of Arcomet Tower Cranes is Graham Baukham, who has more than 20 years' experience in UK tower crane rental with companies including Select and Delta. Baukham told IC that his company was preparing to launch the rental fleet and that his aim was to target new buyers for Potain top slewing towers.

The Igo range of Potain self erecting cranes will be sold by the second new Arcomet company, Midland Crane, headed by Jerry Welford. The company will also offer self erectors for rental. Midland Crane launches with a fleet of 60 units.

Ladybird Crane Hire, the company Welford left to form Midland Crane, will continue to operate a rental fleet of Potain Igo cranes, and Airtek Cranes will continue to rent and sell Arcomet's own range of self erecting models.

Jerry Welford said that the self erector market in the UK is “very slow” and estimated that the entire market consists of between 250 and 300 cranes. He was optimistic about the future, however, forecasting that “it should be in the thousands in a few years.”

In the US for 2006 Arcomet Group, with its joint-venture partner P&J Arcomet LLC, has ordered 25 model SK 415 Terex-Peiner tower cranes, valued at approximately €10 million ($11 million), mainly for the US, but some are destined for Benelux. A further €15 million ($17 million) order will be placed with Terex-Comedil.

“One of our major objectives, in addition to expanding our fleet and our field of operation, is to maintain a young, modern fleet, with no cranes more than five years old”, said Arcomet group managing director, Dirk Theyskens. “We expect to achieve this goal within three years.

“We see the worldwide demand for tower cranes continuing to grow, as the world economy picks up, and as end users increasingly realise the benefits in construction efficiency in using modern tower cranes, even on smaller building sites with self- erectors.

We are already experiencing this in Germany, Italy and France - throughout Europe really - and it will continue as the EU community expands and develops.

“In the UK, for instance, there is already a healthy level of building and construction activity, and with considerable further potential as new projects, both large and small, come on stream, including the build up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

And in the US too, a wider understanding of tower crane usage is opening up new opportunities.”

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