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Year in Review, Part 1

A look at the top rental industry news stories of 2006.


  • Chicago-based NES Rentals announces plans to review strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.
  • JLG hires former Home Depot Rentals chief Joe Dixon as president of JLG Service Plus, a JLG subsidiary providing repair, maintenance, reconditioning and training on JLG-manufactured and other products.
  • H&E Equipment Services files with SEC for an initial public offering, seeking to raise $150 million to acquire Eagle High Reach, pay down debt and expand fleet.


  • Atlas Copco announces possible divestment of RSC Equipment Rentals, valued by analysts at between $3.4 billion and $4.1 billion.
  • Brisk buying and industry optimism marks American Rental Association convention in Orlando. Industry analyst and former HERC CEO Dan Kaplan heads list of Hall of Fame inductees.
  • H&E Equipment Services raises $198.9 million in IPO at $18 per share.
  • ARA research study estimates size of industry at $31.1 billion.


  • United Rentals acquires eight-location Handy Rent-All Center, a major player north of New York City, in the first major acquisition of 2006.
  • Founder and former CEO of NES Equipment Services Kevin Rodgers announces opening of Burbank, Calif.-based 24/7 Studio Equipment, a rental company focusing exclusively on rental of aerial and reach equipment to film and television production companies.
  • RSC Equipment Rental announces the opening of 12 branches over the next three months.
  • Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Wacker Corp. completes the first major acquisition in its history, buying Spring Lake, Mich.-based Ground Heaters Inc.


  • The top 10 rental companies topped $7.9 billion in rental revenue, while the industry’s 100 largest topped $11.6 billion in rental revenue, according to RER magazine’s RER 100.
  • Less than 18 months after being bought by private investors, Emeco, a Perth, Australia-based international earth-moving rental company, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, announces preparations for a U.S. $728 million listing on the Australian stock exchange.


  • First quarter earnings show strong increases including Ahern Rentals’ 40 percent increase in rental revenue; NationsRent’s 11.2 percent jump in rental volume; Finning’s 20 percent increase in rental volume in Canada; H&E’s 42 percent increase in total revenue, 33 percent in rental volume; United Rentals’ rising 15 percent in rental volume, and NES Rentals jumping 17 percent in rental volume.
  • Neff Rentals acquires two-location Valley Rents & Ready Mix in Roseville, Calif., its first major acquisition since Odyssey Partners acquired control of Neff in June 2005.
  • Chuck Maltese, executive director of the California Rental Association since 1988, announces his retirement from the organization effective June 30.
  • Toronto’s largest rental company, Stephenson’s Rental Services, finalizes the acquisition of the second-largest independent rental company in the greater Toronto area, three-location A1 Equipment Rental.
  • NES Rental Holdings announces a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of New York-based private equity firm Diamond Castle Holdings for $18.75 per share, a total value of about $850 million, including the assumption of debt.
  • Neff Rental announces plans for an initial public offering of up to $345 million in common stock.


  • The board of directors of the California Rental Association names Dale Blackwell of Aba Daba Rents, Sacramento, Calif., executive director of CRA, replacing retiring Chuck Maltese.
  • Salt Lake City-based Diamond Rental & Sales acquires Wasatch Rental & Sales of Heber and Park City, Utah, giving it 14 rental centers along Utah’s Wasatch Front.
  • Pittsburgh-based crane rental giant announces it is exploring business alternatives including a possible merger or sale of the business.
  • A majority of NES Rentals shareholders approves acquisition by private equity firm.
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