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Bay acquires Gatwood

New York based Bay Crane has acquired Gatwood Crane Rental Service, which operates in the greater Chicago region from the Gatwood family. No details of the deal have been released.

Gatwood Crane was established by Chuck Gatwood in 1947 as a steel erector with two small cranes. Not long after setting up his business a major contractor asked him if he could lift some HVAC units onto a roof. Having obliged the customer Gatwood quickly spotted the long-term potential and began transitioning his business from steel erecting to a full service crane rental service.

Today the company operates from two locations - Arlington Heights north west of the city and Naperville on the south west side - and runs a fleet of cranes ranging from a two tonne spider crane to a 400 tonne (500 ton) seven axle Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1 including truck cranes, boom trucks crawlers and All Terrains.

Chief executive Ed Gatwood said: “We couldn’t have found a better partner than the Bay Crane team to take over the business my family built over the years. Bay Crane understands the importance of our people to the success of this business. I am excited for the future of Gatwood Crane, its employees and our ability to better serve our customers in the future.”

Bay Crane chief executive Kenneth Bernardo added: “Ed and his family have built a very successful business with a great reputation. We see Gatwood Crane as the foundation upon which we will build a leading Chicago-land crane service company. Our plan is to see this business grow and prosper as we add equipment, services, customers, additional locations and attract the highest quality employees.”

“We are delighted to welcome our new customers and team members to Bay Crane. This transaction expands our presence into key markets with an experienced team that shares our pride in delivering superior customer service. As customers turn to us for their crane, rigging and transportation needs we intend to broaden our capabilities in the Chicago-land area to provide them with a complete range of solutions to help them succeed.”
Bay Crane was established in 1939 and operates from six locations in the north eastern states of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. It runs a substantial fleet of All Terrain, Rough Terrain and crawler cranes topped by a 1,350 tonne Liebherr LR 11350, it also runs transport and rigging divisions.

Vertikal Comment

This is an interesting move for Bay Crane which runs one of the largest and most modern crane fleets in the US north east not to mention the country.

The Chicago market is an important one and Gatwood should provide Bay Crane with a strong base in the region from which to grow, in addition to being a potentially good acquisition on the financial front. The senior management of the two companies would also seem to be very compatible, a critical factor if such deals are to work over the medium to long-term. And while the Gatwood operation should provide Bay with a sound foundation in the Chicago market, its big crane fleet and rigging skills etc ought to add serious value and potential to the Gatwood business.

It certainly looks like a win win combination.