Sullair Argentina has sold a 70% stake in its Brazilian rental company Solaris to Latin American private equity firm Southern Cross. The deal, valued at more than US$100 million, includes the Sullair Brazil sales division.

Sullair Argentina, which also operates a major rental business in Argentina alongside its sales activities, will retain a 30% share of the Brazilian businesses.

According to press reports, the aim is for Solaris to double in size over the next three years. It is already a $120 million revenue business, with 14 locations in Brazil and 450 staff.

Diego Stark, a partner at Southern Cross – which was founded in Argentina in 1998 - said the capital contributed by Southern Cross would be used to expand the business. Mr Stark will lead the business, and Paulo Esteves, commercial director at Solaris, will remain with the company.

Mr Esteves said Solaris expected to increase its growth rate to match or exceed market growth, which have been at around 30% every year since 2008.

Solaris is one of the top two rental companies in Brazil – alongside Mills – and has a fleet of around 3000 machines, dominated by aerial platforms. It also rents telescopic handlers, compressors and generators.

Southern Cross has controlling interests in around 25 companies throughout Southern America in sectors including energy, healthcare, transport, housebuilding and pharmaceuticals.

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