Time Manufacturing has acquired French truck and van mounted lift manufacturer France Elévateur and its Spanish affiliate Movex.
The deal which has been kept relatively quiet, completed earlier today. Following completion, the company confirmed that Versalift International’s managing director Kim Bach Jensen will head up all of the company’s operations in Europe including these latest additions, which suggests some level of integration. The others include Versalift, Time International, Ruthmann and Bluelift.
France Elévateur, or the FE group as it is now known, was founded in 1984 in Flavigny-sur-Moselle, eastern France and produces a range of truck and van mounted aerial lifts ranging from standard rental models to fully insulated custom builds. It acquired Spanish truck mounted lift manufacturer Movex in March last year. It also includes wholly owned distribution outlets - FE Benelux and FE Deutschland.
No details of the transaction have been released.
Time Manufacturing chief executive Curt Howell said: "The France Elévateur acquisition represents a meaningful step forward in our global growth plan by adding more than 450 experienced professionals, a world-class regional product line, and over a dozen facilities across France, Belgium and Spain. Leveraging our existing reach in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland, the FE Group improves our reach in the important national markets of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Eastern France and Spain."
France Elévateur chief executive Charles Goffin added: "Time Manufacturing Company is definitely the best possible partner for France Elévateur. Both companies have long histories and strong reputations for excellence in research and engineering in the aerial work platform industry, and they are complementary in both geography and markets. The entire FE Group team supports this transaction. Our current customers will immediately benefit by having more options for higher-access lifts, and Time Manufacturing Company customers will benefit from our extensive service footprint."
This move puts Time firmly at the top of the global vehicle mounted lift market and an almost dominant player in some European market sectors. Overall all it will help take Time manufacturing well beyond the $500 million revenue level.
However, it still has plenty of strong competition from companies like France’s Klubb - which was formed out of an old Time licensee agreement and several others.
With Klubb’s recent capital injection from private equity firm Andera Partners it also looks as though the European vehicle mounted lift market has become of major interest to the private equity sector. While this can bring beneficial investments and positive development to the market, it is not always the best long term solution for the companies acquired - although that very much depends on the management and strategies of the private equity partners.
My guess is that Klubb’s majority owner Julien Bourrellis, along with the management teams at Palfinger, Multitel and Bronto as well as other midsized Italian manufacturers, will see this as a positive long term move for their businesses and perhaps the market overall?
Time till tell.