NationsRent Acquires Companies in Four States

SAN DIEGO - NationsRent last month completed acquisitions in Arizona, Indiana, New Hampshire and California. The biggest deal was for San Diego-based Contractors' Equipment Corp., one of the largest remaining independently owned rental companies in the United States.

The acquisition of 12-location CEC gives NationsRent a major presence in Southern California. Earlier this year, NationsRent acquired Sacramento, Calif.-based River City Rentals, giving it a strong presence in Northern California.

Some of CEC's branches serve as Case dealerships in the region, and NationsRent plans to continue to carry out the dealer obligations in those markets.

NationsRent, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is No. 8 on the RER 100. CEC is No. 32.

NationsRent also acquired Phoenix-based Rental City; Carmel, Ind.-based Jack's Tool Rentals; and Gosselin Rental Sales & Service, Manchester, N.H.

Rental City is a two-location company with a branch in Scottsdale, Ariz. Founded in 1946, Rental City is the oldest rental company in the Phoenix area. It is NationsRent's first acquisition in Arizona and will serve as a platform for expansion in the state.

The company was owned by Bud Sampson, who will remain with NationsRent for one year, and his brother Edward, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests. General manager Greg Neundorfer will continue to manage the company and will serve as area manager as NationsRent expands, Sampson told RER.

Jack's Tool Rentals, founded in 1954, has two locations in Carmel and one in nearby Indianapolis. The acquisition gives NationsRent 10 branches in the state. According to NationsRent officials, Jack's, a general construction rental company, will expand its offerings to construction and industrial customers in the high-growth Indianapolis market.

Gary Runyon, son of founder Jack Runyon, will help the company through the transition period. His three children, who have been active in the business, will continue with NationsRent, which also opened its first "greenfield" store in the state, in Lafayette.

"Now that we have already established a core platform of NationsRent locations in Indiana, we are ready to expand our presence in the region," said CEO James Kirk.

The addition of Gosselin, a general construction company, gives NationsRent 19 New England locations. It established a strong platform in the region with the acquisition of Logan Equipment in December 1998, and added to it with its recent purchase of Chapman Equipment.

Former Gosselin owner Kip Tibbets will continue with NationsRent as a district sales manager, and all 14 of Gosselin's employees will remain with the company.

NationsRent has more than 160 locations in 24 states.

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