ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Volvo Rents continued its historic acquisition spree last month with the announcement that it purchased Midwest Aerials & Equipment, one of the rental industry's leading independent aerial equipment rental companies. The four-location company is based in St. Louis, with branches in Kansas City and Springfield, Mo., and Bloomington, Ill. The Bloomington facility is Volvo Rents' first in the state of Illinois. The three Missouri locations will enhance its Missouri presence, having already established branches in Springfield and Hollister.
“Adding an aerial specialist to a full-line rental company sounds counterintuitive, but Dan Tumminello, Kevin Morrell, Dan Martino and Joe Alonzo have built such an energized and experienced team that the culture is truly an automatic and instant fit,” said Mike Crouch, Volvo Rents' vice president of business development. “We are fortunate to have their customer and jobsite knowledge in the Midwest as we continue to strategically grow our footprint.”
Tumminello, Alonzo, Martino and Morrell will remain active with the operations and management of the new Volvo Rents locations and will assist with the further expansion of the brand in the Midwest.
“My partner, Kevin Morrell and I started the company from scratch in 1998,” said Tumminello. “Our customers have always been number one and our team members are like a hard-working family whose dedication to the customer has put us on the RER 100 list since 2003. Moving forward, we are all very excited about being part of Volvo Rents because we have a culture that is very comparable to Volvo's culture. We are very excited about the additional fleet opportunities — adding dirt and other equipment to our aerial fleet — since that will add value for our customers.”
Midwest Aerials & Equipment was featured as the cover story in RER's August 2004 edition. To learn more about the company's history and culture, visit: rermag.com/mag/equipment_shoes_dirty_080104/index.html.
Dan Conway of The Focal Point Partners LLC represented Midwest Aerials & Equipment in the transaction.
Also last month Volvo Rents made its first acquisition in Canada, purchasing the Centreline Group of Rental Companies, a six-location construction equipment rental company with facilities in Windsor, Leamington, Chatham, London, Dumfries and Hamilton, Ontario.
The Centreline acquisition gives Volvo Rents more than 90 locations in North America.
Previous owners Louis and Al Bertoia will remain with Volvo Rents, with Louis serving as Ontario operations manager and Al becoming fleet manager for the province.
“The Centreline Group has been very successful in the equipment rental industry throughout the Southern Ontario market,” said Louis Bertoia. “Our success has been driven by understanding and executing our company's values, and by understanding our customers' requirements and exceeding their expectations through a high level of service.”
Back in the Midwest, Volvo Rents added to its ongoing roll of acquisitions with the purchase of Richardson Equipment Co., doing business as R-Quip Equipment Rentals, based in Wichita, Kan., with a branch in Pittsburg, Kan. The stores are the first Volvo Rents branches in Kansas.
Former owner Bob Richardson, who will remain with Volvo Rents as a consultant, founded R-Quip in December 2002. Richardson originally owned AAA Rentals, a multi-location company based in Wichita, until he sold it to RSC in the late 1990s. After his non-compete agreement expired, Richardson founded R-Quip.
“We founded this business nine years ago with a core belief that our industry is about service and commitment to our customers — not just about equipment,” Richardson said. “In our industry, it's easy to provide equipment but it's hard to stand by your customers and give them the quality they deserve at fair price. However, we have accomplished this for our customers and built lasting relationships. Volvo Rents holds to those same beliefs and values, which makes this deal a good fit.”
Gary Stansberry of The Stansberry Firm represented R-Quip in the transaction.
Expanding its presence on the West Coast, Volvo Rents acquired Excel Rentals, a two-location construction equipment rental company in Temecula, Calif. Volvo Rents said it plans to open a second location in nearby San Jacinto, Calif., in the first quarter of 2012. With that store, Volvo Rents will have six branches in California, with the others in Sacramento, Bakersfield, Merced and Salida.
Excel Rentals was an independent rental center before the acquisition, owned by rental industry veteran Lynn Ladenes.
“Lynn Ladenes is truly an industry veteran and Excel's long-time presence in Southern California adds to our strategic growth,” said Crouch.
Crouch added that he sees a “secular shift” towards rental, expanding from renting about a third of their equipment to about 50 percent.
Volvo Rents is No. 17 on the RER 100. Midwest Aerials & Equipment is No. 72.