Founder and former CEO of NES Equipment Services Kevin Rodgers last week announced the recent opening of 24/7 Studio Equipment, a Burbank, Calif., start-up company focused exclusively on the rental of aerial and reach equipment to the motion picture, television, commercial and video industries. The company is backed by private equity investment firm Prospect Partners of Chicago.
Rodgers, who also served as CEO of Brambles U.S., is a long-time veteran of the rental industry. Rodgers will oversee 24/7 CEO and part owner Lance Sorenson, a veteran of more than 20 years as a specialist in rental to the motion picture industry. Sorenson was the driving force behind the development of film industry rentals at ADCO Rentals, based in Pico Rivera, Calif. Sorenson went on to team with Rodgers at NES in forming NES Studio Rentals in 1998, which was the dominant player in rentals to studios in the late 1990s and early 2000s in the Los Angeles area.
“Studios need equipment at odd hours and they need to know they can rely on around-the-clock service,” Sorenson said. “Our name says it all. We’re located minutes from major studios and can quickly respond to rental requests at any time.”
Located near the Burbank airport, the new company is close to Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal and Paramount studios as well as others. 24/7 is on a 5-acre lot with 44,000 square feet under roof, giving the facility ample storage and service space. The company is opening with a 340-unit fleet of new equipment including JLG booms and scissor lifts, vertical personnel lifts, reach forklifts and Caterpillar industrial forklifts, rough-terrain forklifts, light towers, generators and mules. 24/7 also has a new delivery fleet of Kenworth tractors, Landoll trailers and rollback trucks. The equipment has features studios want such as dual-fuel, foam-filled tires on larger booms and scissors, non-marking tires on indoor electrical booms and scissors, special safety cribbing cut-out switches and black arm booms that don’t reflect light.
Rodgers said he expects to grow its fleet to 475 units — $15 million of equipment — within a year.
In 2004, Rodgers teamed with Prospect Partners and management to acquire the assets of the Industrial Hoist Services division from NES, forming a new company Industrial Hoist, Brazoria, Texas, led by James Kowalik, who founded the original Industrial Hoist business in 1983.
“24/7 Studio Equipment is really Lance’s vision,” Rodgers told RER. “Lance has the knowledge of that business, truly loves it, and will work day and night to make it work. He had the desire to lead his own studio rental business, but required backing to bring his vision to fruition.” Sorenson’s management team will include Tim Moore, vice president of operations, and Johnny Brown, studio coordinator, both of whom also worked with Rodgers and Sorenson at NES Studio Rentals.
Prospect Partners is a leading investor in unique lower-middle-market companies, managing two private equity funds totaling $270 million. Founded in 1998, Prospect focuses on management-led leveraged acquisitions of small niche companies in the $10 million to $30-million revenue range.