Atlas Copco sells half of ABIRD

29 February 2008

Atlas Copco has sold approximately half of ABIRD, its Netherlands industrial rental company, to ABIRD's chief executive, Wichard Oorschot, and investment firm NPM Capital. The sale price was not disclosed.

Atlas Copco will keep all the compressors in the fleet as well as generators under 500 kW, while ABIRD will keep the larger generators, welding equipment, temperature control equipment and lighting towers. The total revenues for ABIRD are around €20 million, with the sale splitting the business almost in half.

The transaction will see ABIRD continue to operate under its historic name and retain three depots in the Rotterdam and Vlissingen areas. Atlas Copco will have ABIRD's Amsterdam depots and two further locations, and can run the business under the name Atlas Copco ABIRD for up to 18 months.

The deal is part of Atlas Copco's strategy to focus on industrial rentals, and in particular renting its own oil-free compressors, while exiting the market for more general rentals.

The deal means that ABIRD returns to the ownership of the Oorschot family. The company was founded by Wichard Oorschot's grandfather and was family owned until it was acquired by Atlas Copco in 1999.

Mr Oorschot, who remains as CEO, said; “The company will now enter a new strategic phase with NPM Capital. We are delighted we have joined forces with a shareholder that is accustomed to pursuing longer-term objectives. NPM has confirmed its commitment to leverage its knowledge and contacts to actively support our growth strategy.”

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