Komatsu acquires big Japanese renter

10 April 2008

Komatsu Ltd is to acquire a major Japanese rental company and merge it with its own sizeable rental operation in Japan.

In mid-December Komatsu said it has reached an agreement with the biggest shareholder of BigRental Co Ltd, Chikashi Shike, to merge BigRental with its own Komatsu Rental Japan Ltd business. Mr Shike owns 42.1% of BigRental and is a director of the company.

Under the agreement, Komatsu will acquire 57.9% of BigRentals shares and a portion of Mr Shike's shares, leaving Komatsu with a 79% ownership and Mr Shike with 21%. It said the merged rental business may be called Komatsu Rental, with a planned completion date of 1 April 2008. It said it would take a further year to complete the merging of the two companies.

The deal will make Komatsu Rentals one of the top-five rental companies in Japan – after Aktio, Nikken, Nishio Rent All and Kanamoto – and will increase its annual revenues to around €285 million.

BigRental has 70 rental depots and annual revenues of around €103 million, while Komatsu Rental has 126 depots and sales of €181 million. BR is ten years old and has a particularly strong presence in the Tohoku and northern Kanto regions of Japan.

After the merger, Mr Noriyuki Sudo, currently a director and president of Komatsu Rental, will become chairman and director of the business. Mr Shike will be president and a director of the new company.

Komatsu said; “As the ratio of rental construction equipment used at civil engineering and construction sites in Japan is growing, Komatsu has positioned its rental business in sales of new equipment, rental of equipment and reselling of used equipment, and has been strengthening the rental business segment, centering on Komatsu Rental.”

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