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H&E to Sell Crane Business to The Manitowoc Company for $130MM

July 21, 2021, 07:17 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

H&E Equipment Services, Inc.  announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its crane business to a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc., a global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions, for $130 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

“This transaction marks an important step in H&E Equipment’s transition to a pure-play equipment rental company,” said Brad Barber, H&E’s Chief Executive Officer. “We expect our continued migration to higher margin rentals will promote our strategic focus on geographic expansion and fleet investment, drive outsized revenue and profitability growth, and enable us to take full advantage of opportunities created by favorable industry and macro trends.”

“H&E has a long history and excellent reputation for serving the lifting industry, and we look forward to welcoming the H&E crane team to Manitowoc,” said Aaron H. Ravenscroft, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. As a result of the transaction, H&E will fully exit the crane distribution business.

The acquisition of H&E’s crane business will expand Manitowoc’s ability to provide rentals, new sales, used sales, aftermarket parts and service to a variety of end market customers. H&E’s crane business operates with 11 full-service branch locations.

“Over the past few quarters, we have communicated that our intent is to grow through four strategic priorities, one of which is acquisitions focused on aftermarket. The purchase of H&E’s crane business is the next step in our journey to grow the less cyclical part of our business. H&E has a long history and excellent reputation for serving the lifting industry, and we look forward to welcoming the H&E crane team to Manitowoc,” Ravenscroft said.

This divestiture, which was unanimously approved by H&E’s Board of Directors, is expected to increase, and further stabilize the company’s EBITDA margin as it intensifies its focus on the higher margin equipment rental business.

H&E’s equipment rental business has shown consistent growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent in the five years leading up to 2020. This rapid growth has seen the rental portion of H&E’s business expand from 32 percent of revenues 10 years ago to 51 percent in 2020. The overall demand for equipment rentals has continued to expand and has proven to be more stable and resilient to market disruptions than the distribution business.

Barber said, “H&E has become one of the largest rental equipment companies in the U.S. by maintaining a commitment to growth. The sale of our crane business to Manitowoc represents a transformative event in H&E’s continued efforts to increase its focus in the equipment rental business, while positioning us for future growth opportunities. We believe Manitowoc will provide further career opportunities for our crane employees and will also continue to offer first-class service to existing crane customers.”

Possible uses of proceeds from the transaction include, but are not necessarily limited to, further expansion of new facilities, investment in the rental fleet, and the delivery of a differentiated customer experience through enhanced technology capabilities. In addition, the proceeds will fortify the company’s strong cash position while supporting strategic growth initiatives and ongoing dividends.

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