Independence Day

01 May 2008

On 17 December last year Ramirent announced that it had sold its 50% shareholding in Gothenburg-based Stavdal Lift, the access rental specialist. From that moment on, Stavdal Lift's managing director Mats Rydhede and his three partners became the sole owners of the company, writes Murray Pollok.

“ We work like entrepreneurs”, says Mr Rydhede, explaining how it feels to be independent, “Ramirent is a big company, with a management structure. You have to focus on different things-manage the key figures centrally, especially in the rental business.”

He makes no complaints about Ramirent's need for control, but now, freed from that, he says the business is benefiting; “We work very close to the market. We are now in a position to do that even more. The decision-making is less complicated; the board is just the four of us who run the company.” His three partners are Mikael Olsson, Kjell Bengtsson and Magnus Hellberg.

Stavdal Lift-which was previously 50% owned by the Stavdal general rental company that was acquired by Ramirent two years ago-was not exactly starved of investment by Ramirent, having adding 202 new machines to the fleet last year. But Mr Rydhede says that getting budgets required him to compete with all the other activities in the Ramirent group. “We are very investment willing-I think we will have more money now”, he says.

The current fleet numbers around 800 machines-mainly Genie, Manitou, Skyjack and some UpRight-and Mr Rydhede says the plan is to add a further 120 to 150 platforms this year, taking the fleet up to nearly 950 units. “The market is very good in the areas where we are [it has four depots in Gothenburg, Karlstad, Stockholm and Trollhattan], on the west side of Sweden and Stockholm”, he says.

What about its former part-owner? Ramirent said it would invest in its own aerials business in Sweden following its exit from Stavdal Lift. “It will be another competitor”, says Mr Rydhede, “like any other.”

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