United completes NES acquisition

By Lindsey Anderson03 April 2017

United Rentals, Inc. has completed its acquisition of NES Rentals Holdings, Inc. for a purchase price of $965 million in cash. The purchase was funded through a combination of newly issued unsecured debt and available capacity on the company’s ABL facility.

NES was one of the 10 largest independent aerial work platform rental companies in the U.S. On the 2016 Access, Lift & Handlers’ Aerials20 toplist, the company had 15,000 aerials in its fleet, while United's aerial fleet consists of 122,331 units.

This is the largest acquisition United has made of an independent rental company since its purchase of RSC Holdings Inc. in 2012 at a value of $4.2 billion.

The acquisition increases the United's presence on the East Coast, in the Gulf States and around the Midwest, and is expected to strengthen relationships with local and strategic accounts in the construction and industrial sectors. The assets acquired with NES include almost $900 million of fleet based on original cost, 73 branch facilities concentrated in the eastern half of the United States and approximately 1,100 employees.

“We’re excited by the customer and investor benefits we’ve created through this combination, which leverages our technology, infrastructure and cross-selling capabilities," said Michael Kneeland, president and chief executive officer of United Rentals. "Most important, we’re gaining a great team that cares deeply about providing quality service and shares our intense focus on safety.”

Centerview Partners Holdings LP and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to United Rentals, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acted as legal advisor. Catalyst Strategic Advisors, LLC and Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisors to NES, and Jenner & Block LLP acted as legal advisor.

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