Sunbelt Rentals has acquired most of the assets of King of Prussia, Pa.-based HiReach Group, an aerial rental company founded by former president of Modern Equipment Sales and Rentals (a Modern Group company) Chris Pera and a group of investors in 2009. Hi Reach carries JLG rough-terrain scissorlifts, articulated booms, telescopic booms, telehandlers, electric scissorlifts and industrial cranes.
Pera said he sold the company after a deal with a venture capital group to acquire the young company fell through. Sunbelt is acquiring the equipment, but not HiReach’s service vehicles and was not yet certain how long the company will keep the current facility. Pera said there is a good chance that many of the company’s 13 employees will work for Sunbelt. He added that Sunbelt will keep the HiReach location open at least for a while, but may not keep it open long-term because it has several facilities in the area.
“I was expecting an acquisition to use our business as a platform for a much larger business by a group of venture capital people who have had successful investments in our industry in the past,” Pera told RER. “The sum of what they wanted to do was put cash equity into the business to bring it up in revenue possibilities. However, the long part of the financing still needed to be done. They had gotten several yeses and those yeses came back with ‘unfortunately we’re unable to.’”
Pera said the current tight credit environment made it difficult for the venture capital group to come up with the financing. Pera said he made many efforts to come up with needed capital but couldn’t do so. On a market level, Pera said, the company was doing very well with a successful business model, with most recent statements showing a 24-percent year-over-year revenue increase.
Pera said he will still be involved with HiReach for a few months to tie up some issues, but is not certain what he’ll do after that.