Boels makes three more acquisitions

By Murray Pollok16 January 2012

Pierre Boels Jr, managing director of Netherlands rental company Boels.

Pierre Boels Jr, managing director of Netherlands rental company Boels.

Boels Rental said it has acquired three other rental companies at the start of 2012 to add to the acquisition of Germany's Baurent at the end of last year. Boels said its growth strategy would see it expand in eastern Europe and look for opportunities to enter Italy, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.

The additional acquisitions are K-Rental, Warmerdam Hoogwerk Systemen and franchise company Floris Verhuur. Warmerdam rents aerial platforms in western Netherlands and has 20 employees, while K-Rental has branches in Nijmegan and Venray and employs eight staff. Floris has five staff and runs depots in Wormerveer and Amsterdam.

Both Floris and K-Rental are general rental companies that will become part of Boels' Huurmax network, while Warmerdam Hoogwek Systemen will continue to operate under its existing name.

The acquisitions are part of a growth strategy at Boels as the company enters its 35th year of business. That strategy will also see it open as many as 40 new branches this year.

Boels' finance director Piet Donners, said; "We consciously focused on costs and efficiency during our cautious growth in recent years. As a result, we are now in a good position to be able to respond flexibly to current market developments. We are not only utilising the acquisition possibilities in the market, but can also meet and easily adapt to the increase in demand from customers, who are reticent about purchasing new equipment at the present time."

The company's managing director, Pierre Boels, said Eastern European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic would be the priority for growth; "Eastern Europe is still uncharted territory with enormous growth potential. In the Netherlands, where we are the market leader, a rental company can always be found within a 25-kilometre radius. These countries are a long way from this level and are therefore an exciting challenge for us. Italy, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland are also interesting countries in which we certainly wish to expand."

Boels announced its 2011 financial results, with rental revenues increasing by 9.6% to an estimated €215 million and profits rising by 11% to €30 million. Mr Boels said these figures represented a "significant step forward compared" and that the acquisition of Baurent in Germany would further boost its revenues this year; "We have high expectations in Germany, which we regard as our second home market."

Boels Rental has more than 300 branches in nine European countries and a workforce of more than 2100 people. The business was founded in 1977 by Pierre Boels senior. Pierre Boels junior took over from his father in 1996, when the company had 20 branches.

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