Sumitomo Corp. announced that is has acquired the remaining 20-percent interest in Sunstate Equipment Co. through its subsidiary SMS International Corp., making Sunstate a wholly owned company of Sumitomo Corporation Group. Sunstate Equipment is No. 7 on the RER 100 and is ranked the 24th largest equipment rental company in the world according to International Rental News.

Sunstate Equipment Co. was founded in 1977 by Mike Watts, who recently retired. Watts’ son Chris Watts is now CEO of the Phoenix-based firm, which now has branches in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee in addition to Arizona.

Sumitomo expects continued growth for the equipment rental industry because of deteriorating infrastructure systems in the United States. Sumitomo became involved with Sunstate in 2009 with its first investment in its Convertible Preferred Interests. As a minority shareholder, Sumitomo was focused on strengthening a partnership with Sunstate’s management while gaining an understanding of the equipment rental industry. This led to Sumitomo acquiring the controlling interest in Sunstate in 2012 by increasing its ownership of Common Membership Interest to 80 percent. Following the acquisition, Sunstate expanded its business and tripled sales from 2009, Sumitomo said.

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas was established in 1952 and headquartered in New York City. It has eight offices in major U.S. cities.