Nordic acquisitor

06 May 2008

BMS, Denmark's largest crane rental company, was formed in 1953 by the country's government using money from the Marshall Plan programme to help rebuild Europe following WWII. The government aimed to provide easier access to cranes and other types of construction equipment.

It remained government-owned until the late 1980s, when it was purchased by two of Denmark's largest construction contractors and became completely privatised in 2000.

President Søren Jansen joined the company in 1995 after working in the US as vice president of Demag Cranes & Components. His mission, he says, was to expand the company and oversee its privatisation. In his time as president, Jansen has overseen the acquisition of seven companies. “It is the only way to keep costs down,” he explains, “It gives me more work and more grey hair but it is the only way that you can keep prices down and provide what the market wants.”

BMS operates a fleet of around 120 wheeled mobile and 15 crawler cranes, ranging in lifting capacity from 40 to 450 tonnes, and a fleet of 470 aerial work platforms. “We will do whatever the market wants. We were primarily an erector of pre-fabricated concrete buildings but now we do everything.”

As with many crane rental companies, BMS is busy erecting wind turbines. An added bonus, explains Jansen, is, “The wind turbine industry started in Denmark [the design and manufacture of turbines] and the crane rental company Kraangarden, which we now own, was located right in the middle of it all.” The ownership of Kraangarden has given BMS a direct route in into wind turbine erection but the company is now starting to expand beyond Denmark, and is currently working in both Sweden and Norway.

Membership of the SC&RA, says Jansen, has brought plenty of benefits for the company. “It is important to be known throughout the world,” he says, “One of the big advantages we have found is that by being a member of the SC&RA, we have become recognised and when the big American contractors are working in Denmark and need a crane they think of BMS.”

Jansen was an engineer before serving three years in the Danish army, after which he moved into selling construction equipment, where one of his customers was the government-owned BMS, “I still have to live with some of the stuff I sold them,” he quips.

With experience as both a user and seller of cranes, Jansen has broad insight into the industry. Commenting on the supply situation and the recent consolidation among manufacturers, “We need three or four good manufacturers to choose from. Any more than that is too many and any less too few.”

He has noticed that priorities have changed for users over recent years, especially when choosing a crane. “The intense requirements from shareholders means that after sales service is now probably more important than the crane itself. All machines can break down, we all know that and accept it, but its what happens when things do go wrong that is important. We don't want any excuses or delays, we want the best service possible and that is how we choose our cranes.”

Latest News
David Scales joins Chesterfield Trading sales team
Effective February 1, Scales will become a member of the sales team as a crane, wire rope and rigging specialist.
Podcast: Cummins CEO talks Path to Zero
Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger discusses New Power and the company’s push for decarbonization
Huisman to build another 2,600 tonne crane
Second 2,600 tonne capacity offshore wind turbine installation vessel crane for Eneti via DSME