Sunbelt Rentals To Acquire NationsRent

Posted on July 19, 2006

Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. and NationsRent Companies, Inc. jointly announced that Sunbelt will acquire NationsRent in a transaction valued at approximately $1.05 billion. When the transaction is closed, which is expected to be by Aug. 31, it is expected that the combined company will rank as the third largest U.S. equipment rental company by 2005 revenues, with 477 locations in 35 states, employing approximately 7000 associates.

"NationsRent is a high quality company which, like Sunbelt, has an attractive and significant exposure to the growing non-residential construction market in the US.,” said George Burnett, CEO of Ashtead Group plc, owner of Sunbelt. “The merger of NationsRent with Sunbelt uniquely creates a chain of 477 outlets with minimal overlap and accelerates our 'clustering' strategy that has delivered consistent profitable growth over the past few years. NationsRent and Sunbelt have similar rental fleets both in age and in mix and through the combination of these businesses we believe we will enjoy benefits of scale in both customer service and buying power.”

Sunbelt CEO and President Cliff Miller said that the transaction would “immediately extend the reach of the combined companies to eight additional states. Since there are very few overlapping branch locations, there will be plenty of growth opportunities for branch network employees of both companies as the combined company works to serve its expanded customer base.

“The two companies also have very different specialty operations which are complementary rather than redundant, such as NationsRent's Lowe's retail-based program and its expanding dealership network along with Sunbelt's pump, power and scaffolding operations,” Miller added. “By adding NationsRent's relatively new rental fleet to Sunbelt's already significant investment in fleet, the combined company will feature a rental fleet base of approximately $2.2 billion of original cost."

The consummation of the merger is subject, among other things, to approval by the Ashtead shareholders, the consummation of certain financing arrangements and government approvals. The board of directors of NationsRent has unanimously voted in favor of the move, a NationsRent official said.