Cramo acquires Germany's Theisen

By Murray Pollok11 January 2011

Theisen's Alexander Renner (left) with Vesa Koivula, CEO of Cramo.

Theisen's Alexander Renner (left) with Vesa Koivula, CEO of Cramo.

Cramo has acquired Theisen Baumaschinen, one of Germany's largest equipment rental companies, giving it a significant share of the German rental market as well as rental businesses in Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.

The purchase price is €47 million - €40 million in cash and €7 million in newly issued Cramo shares - and Cramo will also take on Theisen's existing debt and financial leasing liabilities of around €38 million, valuing the transaction at €85 million.

Theisen is based in Munich and was owned by privately held company Arrex Beteiligungs-GmbH. It had revenues of €85.7 million in 2009 and operates 103 depots and employs 274 staff. EBITDA in 2009 was €11.4 million.

As well as giving Cramo a significant presence in Europe's largest construction market - Cramo said Theisen had a 16% share of the German market - the deal will make it the second largest equipment rental company in Europe after Loxam (on pro forma 2009 revenues), moving it ahead of Ramirent, its major competitor on the Nordic region and eastern Europe.

Vesa Koivula, Cramo's CEO and president, speaking at a press conference to announce the acquisition, said it was "a big step for Cramo...one of the biggest acquisitions that we have ever made." He said Theisen would serve as a platform for further expansion in central and eastern Europe.

Theisen is strongest in southern Germany but has a nationwide presence with 90 depots, as well as its smaller businesses in Austria (nine depots), Switzerland (three) and Hungary (one). Ninety percent of its business is in Germany and there is no overlap with any of Cramo's existing operations.

Vesa Koivula will become interim managing director of Theisen, with Alexander Renner, Theisen's long-standing managing director, remaining as a senior consultant.

Theisen's experienced senior management team will stay with the business, said Cramo, and it will retain the Theisen brand.

Mr Koivula said it was too early to give details of what changes Cramo would make to Theisen, but said; "We can increase the tools business and also access. There is no modular space - we can build on the very wide platforms [to offer] something on modular space as well."

In a statement, Mr Koivula said; "Theisen's wide depot coverage provides us good opportunities to introduce new products, services and concepts to Theisen's existing customers, while also better opportunities to serve new customers in the European markets. We also think that the timing is right for the transaction, as we are already seeing economic recovery in Theisen's markets after the recession."

Mr Renner said the deal would take the Theisen business to the next level; "As Theisen's and Cramo's businesses complement well each other, I strongly believe the transaction to be good for all of Theisen's employees".

The acquisition is the first major deal in Europe's equipment rental market since the start of the financial crisis in late 2008 and is in line with Cramo's strategy to expand in existing and new markets.

The acquisition is expected to be closed by the end of January 2011.

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