New Zealand equipment rental company Hirepool is looking to acquire private equity-owned competitor Hirequip, according to New Zealand Internet reports. Stuff.co.nz and business magazine National Business Review are reporting that Next Capital, the Sydney, Australia-based controlling shareholder of Hirepool has confirmed speculation that the company has bid to buy Hirequip and is currently seeking regulatory approval.
Hirequip, which has 37 branches and 320 employees across New Zealand, entered receivership in July after Australian-owned bank Westpac refused attempts by owner Tasman Capital to refinance a $117.8 million loan. Next director John White said the company has bid enough for Hirequip to enable Tasman Capital to pay off a substantial portion of its debt to Westpac. White said Hirepool was working to convince the Commerce Commission that a potential merger would not cause competition issues, Stuff reports.
The Hirequip staff would be retained, Next said. White added that the New Zealand equipment rental industry is sufficiently fragmented that the merger would not cause a monopoly, adding that Hirequip competes in large earthmoving equipment whereas Hirepool is more of a general rental company.