Mills previously owned an access rental division but sold it to Sullair Argentina four years ago. Under the terms of the sale, Mills had a non-compete agreement with Sullair, with Sullair also able to use the Mills Rental name in Brazil.
However, both the branding agreement and the non-compete condition expired earlier this year, and in March the Mills Group re-entered the sector under its original Mills Rental name. Sullair Argentina has rebranded its access rental business as Solaris Equipamentos e Serviços.
In an interview with Brazilian publication Valor Economico, Mill Rental's managing director, Ramon Vazquez, said the company aimed to build up a big access rental fleet over the next four years, with around 450 machines planned by the end of the year. Mills has a long relationship with JLG Industries and it is understood that many of the machines ordered by Mills Rental are JLG products, including telehandlers.
Meanwhile, Mr Vazquez of Mills Rental told the Bloomberg news agency in April that it was planning to float on the stock market in 2009. "We are looking at selling stock in the company in 2009," he told the news agency, "We have always had more business opportunities than capital to carry them out, and Brazil is starting to grow on a sustainable basis."
Mills Rental and Solaris are now competing head to head. Earlier this year, Solaris told Access International that it Solaris had initiated a three-year, $120 million fleet investment plan, with half of that sum earmarked for aerials. The company's 1300 unit fleet will be increased by 40% this year, with other spending on earthmoving equipment, telehandlers and generators.