ElectroRent shakes up European test equipment rental market with Microlease buy

ElectroRent shakes up European test equipment rental market with Microlease buy

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The transaction is expected to close during Q1 2017 and financial terms were not disclosed, although Microlease currently has a turnover of €165m.

“Both companies are leaders in testing and measurement equipment rental, sales, and asset management services,” said Nigel Brown, CEO of Microlease who will take over as CEO of the combined company. “Combined, we believe we can serve customers better through a significantly expanded equipment fleet and stronger geographical coverage, ensuring better availability levels and a higher level of technical service.”

Electro Rent is a portfolio company of Platinum Equity, which took the company private in August 2016 in a $382m deal. The company only opened its first UK office in September 2015 after 10 years operating from Holland.  

Lloyds Development Capital backed the £30m management buyout of Microlease in 2006 and supported the purchase of competitor Livingston Hire in 2014 as well as the European operation of Telogy, one of Electrorent’s US competitors, and US-based MetricTest which provides rental and asset management services.  

“This is a transformational opportunity that puts the combined company in a better position to serve customers in a global market poised for significant growth,” said Louis Samson, partner at Platinum Equity. “We are delivering on our pledge to invest in Electro Rent’s long-term strategic plan and will continue looking for new opportunities to expand organically or through additional acquisitions.”

Electrorent was already one of the world’s largest providers of electronic test equipment for rent, lease or used sales and has been operating in the UK for 12 years supplying test systems from Keysight and Tektronix.

The UK office was driving expansion in Europe, and will become the European headquarters, with the US operation remaining headquartered in Van Nuys, California.

“Our commitment to open an office in the UK was mainly driven by our success over the last 10 years,” said David Saeys, managing director of Electrorent Europe at the time. “Establishing a local presence is a logical next step to building on this success and will enable us to provide a true local service to our existing and future customers. Over the past few months we have also seen some significant changes in the UK test equipment rental market. With the fusion of our two largest competitors, customers do no longer have the true opportunity to compare competitive offers. By extending our commitment to the UK with a new office, we are giving real choice back to the market, offering the broadest range of test equipment for rent, lease or purchase in the UK.”

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