Riwal enters Spanish market with 70% stake in Grupo Clem

29 May 2008

Riwal has acquired a 70% stake in Grupo Clem, a major Spanish aerial platform and forklift truck rental company with annual rental revenues of €25 million. The price was not disclosed.

The remaining 30% share will stay with the current owners – the third generation of the Noguera family – who will continue to run the firm. Jose Jaime Noguera, the current owner of Clem, and Dick Schalekamp, chief executive officer of Riwal, will be on the board of directors.

The Clem fleet includes 1700 aerial platforms, 500 industrial forklift trucks and a small number of telehandlers.

Mr Schalekamp said the acquisition would strengthen its European coverage with the aim of becoming one of the biggest operators on the international access equipment market, with the benefit of doing so through a local company and local management.

Javier Gómez, Grupo Clem’s manager, said he was “very confident” about market developments and said the current management team wanted to make Grupo Clem a leader in the sector; “We think that Spain lacks infrastructure in terms of quality and quantity in comparison to other European countries and Clem is the perfect vehicle to make the most of this opportunity, given its excellent reputation and the quality of its products and services”.

Mr Gomez said the strategy was not to increase the number of units, but to be leaders in terms of service quality and results.

Grupo Clem emerged out of the company founded in 1945 by Jose Noguera and rents equipment in the Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid, Catalonia and Levante areas. Group turnover was €25 million last year, with a gross operating profit of 56% of its sales. Riwal estimated that the total Spanish aerial platform market is worth around €750 million a year.

The part-acquisition of Clem is consistent with Riwal’s strategy in other European countries where it has entered markets through relationships with particular companies or individuals, such as Jacques Catinot in France and Søren Rosenkrands in Denmark.

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