Paris-based Loxam, Europe’s leading equipment rental company, said it acquired its UK-based rival Lavendon Group plc (LSE: LVD), the European and Middle East market leader in the rental of powered access equipment, having successfully completed the buyout of 91.5 percent of Lavendon’s shares.
Loxam’s third and final takeover offer of 270 pence per share made on January 18, brought the deal up to a total value of £459 million (US$565 million), outbidding Belgian rival TVH Group. Loxam’s offer was declared unconditional in all respects on February 14, 2017, and Lavendon has applied for the de-listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange.
Loxam plans to exercise its rights to acquire compulsorily the remaining 8.5 percent of Lavendon shares at the same price of 270 pence per share.
The combination created the third largest global player in the powered access rental market, with a dedicated fleet of approximately 45,000 units. With a presence in 21 countries worldwide and combined revenues of more than €1.3 billion, the acquisition bolsters Loxam’s leadership in the European equipment rental market, and opens new opportunities to further develop its activities throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
Lavendon has operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Its equipment rental fleet totals over 21,000 units and the company employs roughly 1,900 people.
“We are very happy to officially announce that our offer to acquire Lavendon has been successful,” said Gérard Déprez, President of Loxam. “Lavendon is a leading business with longstanding and complementary positions and I am delighted that we will be joining forces going forward. This move is consistent with our strategy to build a geographically balanced business and increase our market share where we are already active. I am very much looking forward to working closely with the talented and experienced management team and employees of Lavendon to build together a reference player in our industry.”
“Lavendon offers Loxam a strong and efficient engine for growth in the powered access market and I believe the combined strength of our two organizations will provide customers with a global network of professional expertise and experience,” said Lavendon Group CEO, Don Kenny.
Rothschild and Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisors to Loxam. Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natixis and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking arranged the financing of the transaction. Allen & Overy LLP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as legal advisors to Loxam.
Prior to the acquisitions of Lavendon and Hune, Loxam employed approximately 5,000 employees, with revenue of €897 million in 2015. Its network of 650 branches extends over 11 countries in Europe, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, as well as in Morocco and Brazil.
Loxam was founded in 1967. In 2011, private equity firms 3i and Pragma Capital acquired a minority stake in the company for €60 million. Since then, Loxam acquired Hertz and Locarest equipment rental businesses, respectively the #3 and #5 player in France, more than doubling Loxam’s market share in North Eastern France, and made two acquisitions in the Netherlands and Denmark. Between 2013 and 2016, Loxam reportedly raised a total of €1.21 billion in high yield bonds to fund its growth.