MALIBU, Calif.-The 20 largest acquisitions of equipment rental companies in 1998 involved almost 300 locations and more than $1.4 billion in revenue - more than the combined revenue of all companies acquired in 1997, according to the new RER Consolidation Report.

In all, more than 210 companies sold to industry consolidators in 1998, and more than $2.6 billion in total revenues, including $1.6 billion in rental volume, changed hands - double the previous year.

The top 20 deals represented more than a third of all locations and half of all revenue consolidated in 1998. However, unlike 1997, when the top 20 deals accounted for about 80 percent of acquired volume industrywide, last year's biggest deals were only part of the story. Excluding the United/U.S. Rentals merger, another 730 locations were acquired industrywide in 1998 - an average of two a day.

The RER Consolidation Report reviews and analyzes all of the consolidation and expansion activity in 1998, including locations, volumes and purchases prices, with state and regional breakdowns. It is available for $395. For more information, contact RER at 800/543-4116, ext. 480.