H&E sells crane business for $130 million

By Belinda Smart21 July 2021

Louisiana, US, based equipment distributor and rental company H&E Equipment Services is to sell its crane business to UK based lifting equipment specialist Manitowoc, in a move that focuses H&E’s attention on rental.

Under the terms of the agreement, Manitowoc said it expects to pay approximately $130 million funded by a combination of cash on hand and existing debt availability.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

With the sale to include H&E’s crane business including its crane rental operations, H&E Chief Executive Brad Barber said it represented a pivot towards growing H&E’s rental business.

“H&E has become one of the largest rental equipment companies in the U.S. by maintaining a commitment to growth,” he said. “The sale of our crane business to Manitowoc represents a transformative event in H&E’s continued efforts to increase its focus in the equipment rental business, while positioning us for future growth opportunities.

Brad Barber

“We believe Manitowoc will provide further career opportunities for our crane employees and will also continue to offer first-class service to existing crane customers.”

H&E’s relationship with Manitowoc dates back to the early 1970s and continued through its acquisition in 1998 of Dallas based Martin Equipment. Originally a crane and excavator distribution company covering parts of Louisiana, in the past 25 years or so, it has expanded geographically and extended its equipment offering and rental fleet.

“H&E offers the most comprehensive crane product support network available in the crane industry, specialising in new and used crane sales, rentals, parts, service, CCO training, manufacturer-certified structural repair, and remanufacturing for all makes and models,” the company stated in its (American Cranes & Transport) ACT 100 survey form.

H&E Equipment Services said it was the largest Manitowoc and Grove crane dealer in the world, an authorised Manitowoc EnCore Partner and a Manitowoc Crane Care Elite Dealer. It is also an authorised dealer for National Crane, Manitex, Effer and Marine Travelift.

The company has 105 locations throughout the US West Coast, Intermountain, Southwest, Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, selling and renting a wide range of equipment, including cranes, aerial work platforms and telehandlers.

Aaron Ravenscroft

Manitowoc Chief executive Aaron Ravenscroft indicated the move would give the company greater control over its sales and rental chain, directly selling and supporting products, with H&E’s crane business operating from 11 full service branches.

“Over the past few quarters, we have communicated that our intent is to grow through four strategic priorities, one of which is acquisitions focused on aftermarket,” he said.

“The purchase of H&E’s crane business is the next step in our journey to grow the less cyclical part of our business. H&E has a long history and excellent reputation for serving the lifting industry, and we look forward to welcoming the H&E crane team to Manitowoc.”

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