MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Stephenson's Rental Services has, along with equity partner EdgeStone Capital Partners, acquired the general equipment rental assets of Oxford Builders Supplies, a London, Ontario, Canada-based division of EllisDon Construction Ltd. Stephenson's has agreed with EllisDon to become its primary equipment rental provider in the Ontario area.

The transaction additionally facilitates Stephenson's expansion to the London market to serve its traditional professional contractor customers.

Oxford supplies rental equipment to EllisDon, one of the leading construction companies in Canada, as well as to other contractors in southern Ontario. Oxford will continue to provide tower cranes, formwork and electrical equipment and will continue to operate under the Oxford name, Oxford vice president of equipment operations Mike Demelo told RER, with Stephenson's acquiring Oxford's small rental equipment assets.

“Stephenson's vast array of products, store network and logistics capability across Ontario make them a natural to supply general rental equipment to our projects,” said John Bernhardt, senior vice president and chief operating officer of EllisDon.

“We are very excited to have entered into this arrangement with EllisDon and the opportunity it presents Stephenson's to gain a foothold in the infrastructure market,” said Guy Manuel, who recently succeeded Willie Swisher as president and CEO of Stephenson's. “This is just another example of the strategic importance of contractors looking to the rental equipment channel to create a ‘win-win’ situation for both companies.”

“We are very pleased to support Stephenson's growth initiatives, including the acquisition of the Oxford assets, which will extend the company's brand and footprint into the London market and allow us to serve both existing Oxford customers and Stephenson's traditional contractor customers,” added Sandra Bosela, partner at EdgeStone Capital Partners, the majority shareholder of Stephenson's Rental Services.

Manual replaces Willie Swisher, who is retiring after leading Stephenson's since the beginning of 2002. During Swisher's tenure, the company doubled in size and tripled in profitability. Swisher led the transformation of the 50-plus-year-old company from a general tool/homeowner company into one of the leading suppliers to the professional contractor base in Toronto and surrounding areas.

Manuel has run significant businesses in Canada and the United States with particular expertise in building sales organizations, enhancing the customer service experience and using an entrepreneurial approach to build strong and profitable organizations.

Both Stephenson's and Oxford rank among Canada's leading rental players and both are listed on the RER 100. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Stephenson's is No. 35. Oxford Builders' Supplies is No. 73.