Acme Lift Co., the world’s largest wholesale and re-rental company featuring the biggest aerial work platforms, has completed a $77.2 million recapitalization that will enable the company to enlarge its fleet and accelerate its growth.
“We are pleased with the completion of this important recapitalization,” said Woody Weld, Acme Lift’s chairman and CEO. “Our solid capital base will support improved product offerings and capabilities for our customers, our growth and continued expansion into and penetration of key geographic markets.” The leveraged recapitalization will bolster Acme Lift’s presence and its ability to quickly respond to the needs of its rental customers with improved operational support and capabilities and an expanded lineup of new articulating and telescoping boomlifts and large-capacity telehandlers.
After more than a decade of rapid and profitable expansion, the company weathered the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 with challenges including servicing an overleveraged balance sheet and limited capital resources to support the rental industry’s anticipated upturn.
Acme Lift negotiated debt restructurings with its existing lenders and recapitalized the company with a new $50 million senior asset-based credit facility, an $8.7 million non-amortizing second lien loan, $3.5 million in subordinated notes and $15 million in preferred equity to provide an expanded capital base to support future growth in an improving market.
The recapitalization streamlined debt facilities, dramatically reduced debt service requirements, interest expense, and improved financial flexibility. The new credit facilities provided by Wells Fargo provides Acme Lift with significant untapped financing capacity to capitalize on the anticipated opportunities -- especially as rental companies increasingly turn to Acme Lift to meet their growing needs for equipment to re-rent to their customers.
Lampert Debt Advisors, based in New York, was Acme Lift’s restructuring adviser and, through LDA’s relationship with ICM Capital Markets, was the placement agent for the transaction. Lampert also invested $15 million in Acme Lift through an investment affiliate, representing Lampert’s first merchant banking transaction.
“We believe financial strength and access to capital will be a key competitive strength for Acme Lift,” said Randy Lampert, founder and president of LDA. “This set of transactions is designed to position Acme Lift at the forefront of the re-rental industry. We believe the transaction will serve to extend and expand Acme Lift’s leadership position. We are happy to have played an instrumental role, despite challenging market conditions for the industry, in placing Acme Lift in a stronger financial position for the future and to enter into this partnership with Woody Weld and his management team through this investment.”
Acme Lift’s legal counsel was provided by DLA Piper in Phoenix.
Acme Lift has a 14-year history of supplying the retail rental industry with excellent late-model large aerial equipment across 48 states and Canada, specializing in providing large aerial work platforms not normally carried by rental companies.
“Acme Lift’s culture is one of creating exceptional relationships with its customers, employees, financial partners and suppliers,” Weld said. “It is a testimony to the Acme Lift team to have continued to provide exceptional equipment and customer service during the recent economic downturn.
“Acme Lift has become a trusted partner and supplier to the retail rental industry. The Acme Lift team looks forward to helping new and existing customers with an expanded product offering while bringing additional value and capability to rental companies across North America and around the globe.”
Acme Lift, a privately owned company based in Mesa, Ariz., has the largest selection of 80-, 120-, 135-, and 150-foot boomlifts and the latest 6,000- to 12,000-pound telehandlers for re-rent at competitive daily, weekly or monthly rates. Lampert Debt Advisors is a middle market advisory firm specializing in recapitalizing companies through the private placement of debt and structured equity securities. The principals of Lampert Debt Advisors have completed more than $20 billion in financings over their careers in various capacities, including that of principal.
Acme Lift is No. 64 on the RER 100.