Romania access renter expands into general equipment

23 September 2008

Stefan Ponea, founder and CEO of Industrial Access in Romania.

Stefan Ponea, founder and CEO of Industrial Access in Romania.

Romanian access rental company Industrial Access is expanding its product offering beyond aerials to include gensets, compressors, pumps, lighting towers and welding sets. The investment in the new products comes nine months after private equity firm Balkan Accession Fund acquired 90% of the company from founder and chief executive officer Stefan Ponea.

Mr Ponea told IRN that he had ordered 86 Atlas Copco gensets (30-325 kVA) and portable compressors (2.5-7.0 m3), 13 pumps from Godwin Pumps (models CD103, CD150 and CD160, up to 400 m3/hr)), GenSet welding/generator sets (300 - 400A); ten Towerlight VT1 lighting towers and 11 power washers from Brendon Powerwashers.

Industrial Access was founded by Mr Ponea in 2005 and has six depots in Romania and is also now entering the Bulgarian and Moldova markets. It has previously focused entirely on powered access, with a fleet or around 300 units and plans for that to double by the end of 2009.

Following the investment by Balkan Accession Fund, Industrial Access has spent €10 million on access equipment - mostly with JLG but also including Geda, Niftylift and Lionlift machines - and a further €2.5 million on non-access products.

Mr Ponea, who retains a 10% share of the business, said the Romanian market remained good, although he expected the financial problems in western Europe and the US to have a negative impact; "Definitely it will...people want to wait and see. The new projects are [moving ahead] much more cautiously. [Investment] money comes from the west..."

Industrial Access hopes to expand its Romanian depot network to as many as nine locations before the end of the year and has already established a rental operation in neighbouring Bulgaria. Next in the plan is Moldova, which will be used as a bridge between Mr Ponea's Romanian operation and the potentially large Ukraine market.

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