Loxam to acquire Locarest

By Lindsey Anderson29 August 2011

Loxam is to acquire Locarest - a major regional rental player in eastern France - boosting its revenues by around 7% and giving it an estimated 25% share of the French general rentals market. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Loxam is in exclusive negotiations with Locarest's owners - its managers and the private equity shareholder EPF Partners - and said the deal would be completed within weeks.

Locarest reported revenues of €48 million last year and is the fourth largest general equipment rental company in France. It has 66 depots in eastern France and is headquartered in Strasbourg.

Loxam will link Locarest with its Loueurs de France group, making that business a national player with 115 depots.

Patrick Rizzo, Loxam's marketing director, told IRN that a final decision on the use of the Locarest brand would be made when the deal was finalised, but added that linking the two operations made sense because Loueurs de France has few depots in eastern France, making the two networks very complementary.

Pascal Burg, Locarest's managing director and shareholder, and his management team will remain with the business, said Loxam.

On a pro forma basis the acquisition will increase Loxam's annual revenues to around €750 million, reinforcing its position as the largest rental company in Europe. The next largest renters are Cramo and Ramirent, with revenues in the €500-550 million range.

"The acquisition of Locarest contributes to the consolidation of the domestic market and to a denser French presence", said Loxam in a statement. It added that Locarest had a good reputation and a particular knowledge in the construction and landscaping sectors.

The brand Locarest was created in 1970, but the company's history goes back to 1957, when Alsace-based company Sirmat created a rental division called Sirco. Locarest's growth was boosted in August 2006 when it received inward investment from EPF Partners, a private equity group.

In July, private equiry firms Pragma and 3i invested €60 million in Loxam. At the time, Loxam said the funds would allow it to capitalise on acquisition opportunities.

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