In one of the largest mergers of equipment rental companies this year, G. Cooper Equipment Rentals, based in Toronto, has acquired 15-branch Quebec and Ontario equipment rental company SMS Rents through a definitive share purchase agreement. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
Cooper, based in Toronto and backed by Canadian private investment firm SeaFort Capital, operates six full-service equipment rental locations from Burlington to Scarborough in the greater Toronto area. SMS Rents, based in Mississauga, Ontario, is a member of the Sumitomo Corporation Group and is a division of a major Canadian construction equipment business.
“By continuing SMS Rents and Cooper, we are creating a strong Canadian business with considerable scale,” said Darryl Cooper, CEO of Cooper Equipment Rentals. “Each of our 21 full-service branches employs a highly skilled and knowledgeable team and offers a specialized fleet comprised of category-leading brands.”
“SMS Rents has an excellent reputation for customer service and support,” added Doug Dougherty, president of Cooper. SMS Rents’ employees share our passion for delivering the best possible equipment solutions for customers. I am confident that the combination of Cooper and SMS Rents will result in exciting new opportunities for all employees and continued great service for customers, over a much broader network. This will also be our first exposure to Quebec, and we are excited about the opportunities in this vibrant marketplace.”
SMS Rents was established in 2003 and has built a strong customer base in building construction, infrastructure development, demolition, landscaping, industrial maintenance and mining.
The two branch networks will continue to operate under their current business names for the immediate future and through a transitional phase. Dougherty added that the service areas of the 21 locations have almost no overlap and he does not anticipate store closures.
“This is a positive move for both companies,” he added. “This agreement was a collaborative effort between companies that share common values and a common vision. We expect the integration of our businesses to result in an excellent stable platform for future growth.”
“Cooper has a proven reputation in the industry for integrity and fresh thinking,” said Marcel Langlois, president of SMS Rents. “The SMS Rents ‘Job Ready’ approach blends well with Cooper’s established culture. The Sumitomo Corporation Group had a good run as it built SMS Rents, and was fortunate to come together with a strong Canadian team at Cooper that recognizes the value of our enterprise. Now with our combined resources, the Cooper/SMS Rents network is uniquely positioned to deliver smart equipment solutions to customers throughout Ontario and Quebec.”
Cooper Equipment was established in 1972. It specializes in compact equipment rentals and has locations in Rexdale, Scarborough, downtown Toronto, York region, Bolton and Burlington. In 2013, Cooper received a majority investment from Halifax, N.S.-based SeaFort Capital.
Both companies are listed on the RER 100: SMS Rents is No. 60; Cooper Equipment Rentals is No. 92.