Two Pennsylvania firms that have supplied the recent construction boom with rental cranes are consolidating operations, in a match made on Wall Street.
Apollo Global Management LLC, the giant New York private-investment group headed by Sixers co-owner Josh Harris, says a group of its funds have agreed to buy AmQuip Crane Rental, Trevose, lately controlled by Clearlake Capital Group LP, and Pittsburgh-based Maxim Crane Works, a larger rival owned by affiliates of Tom Gores' Platinum Equity group. Apollo's plan is to combine Maxim and AmQuip into a single firm with 1,950 construction cranes for rent across the U.S. and Canada.
The joint company will be run by Pittsburgh-based Maxim boss Bryan Carlisle, while AmQuip CEO Albert Bove will stay on to run the Trevose operation for now and "play a senior role in the integration." Apollo won't name its price, but noted it has had to hire J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Barclays, and Jefferies Finance to borrow enough money to pay for Maxim and AmQuip.
What will be left in Trevose after "integration?" "Clearlake declines to comment," Kristin Celauro, a flack for Clearlake, told me. Clearlake, based in Santa Monica, Calif, bought AmQuip just 18 months ago. At the time, AmQuip employed 200 and had sales around $150 million a year. AmQuip was owned 2007-14 by New York's Altpoint Capital. Charles Zehren, mouthpiece for buyer Apollo, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
AmQuip, founded in 1967, claims 6,600 customers for its 550 cranes at 13 branch offices serving 36 states. Maxim, founded in 1966, lists 7,500 customers for 1,400 cranes at its 31 branches. "This combination represents an opportunity for us to build a world class organization with the best people in the crane industry," Carlisle said in a statement. He promised customers "an enhanced level of service, expertise, equipment and geographic coverage." The companies "know each other well," Bove added.
In a statement, Apollo partners Larry Berg and Antoine Munfakh called the Maxim-Amquip deal a "unique opportunity to combine two premier businesses in the North American lifting services market... We look forward to bringing Apollo's resources to bear in helping Bryan and Al achieve their long-term strategic objectives."
Louis Samson of Platinum Equity says he was leaving the new owners "a fundamentally strong business" that had managed previous acqusitions. Similarly, Clearlake's Jose E. Feliciano called AmQuip well-positioned for the merger.