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CMC acquires All Access Equipment

Italian spider lift manufacturer CMC has agreed the acquisition of its North American distributor, All Access Equipment.

Based in Wilmington, on the north west side of Boston, Massachusetts, with a branch in Salem New Hampshire, All Access was founded in 2010 by Lenny Polonski and has been the CMC distributor since 2011. Lenny’s two sons - Ryan Polonski -president and chief operating officer- and Nathan now run the day to day business, although Polonski senior remains very much involved.

All Access Equipment is now a leading player in the North American spider lift market, employing more than 60 staff over its two locations. The Polonski family will continue to manage the company under CMC ownership.
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the All Access facility in Wilmington

CMC chief executive Alessandro Mastrogiacomo said: "The transaction represents an important strategic step for the CMC group. This is also the starting point of an ambitious industrial plan shared with the Metrika fund."

Ryan Polonski added: “We are incredibly proud and excited about the transaction which represents the fruit of a solid and long-lasting successful partnership between All Access and CMC."

Private equity firm Metrika acquired a 70 percent stake in CMC barely a month go with the intention of funding further growth.

The Polonski's spider lift story

All Access Equipment was set up in late 2010, but Lenny Polonski’s involvement in the spider lift market goes back much further and is quite remarkable. It begins with a very bad 12 metre fall from a tree in 1969. Having survived life threatening injuries, he began looking for a better way to carry out tree work.

In 1998 a chance discussion with a German arborist at a tree care exhibition, introduced him to the spider lift. In 2003 he became the Teupen distributor, setting up as Spider Lift America/ before changing the name to Teupen America followed by The Spider Lift Company and Extreme Access Solutions. In 2009 Extreme Access and the others were sued for trademark infringement by Safeworks - the suspended platform company which used spider as a sub trademark on its suspended platforms. The legal battle ran into 2010 when sadly, and in our opinion unjustly, it lost the case and received penalties backdated to 2004 along with having to pay Safeworks' legal costs. By then Teupen had also decided to set up its own operation in the USA.

While the legal battle might have destroyed many, or at least put them off the industry, Lenny Polonski picked himself up and established All Access Equipment along with Ryan. He soon discovered and signed a distribution contract with the then relatively unknown manufacturer CMC. More determined than ever Polonski quickly built business that surpassed his earlier incarnations and Teupen's direct sale operation, and before too long became CMC’s largest distributor. Today it is unquestionably a leading player in the North American spider lift market.

In the video below Lenny Polonski tells his story along with that of All Access Equipment.

Vertikal Comment

This looks like a decent move for both parties - CMC gains full control of its largest distributor and its largest market, while gaining an excellent management team and some highly experienced staff. The Polonski family cashes in on the hard work that it has put into the business, while the second generation have the ability to join a larger dynamic and relatively young management team at CMC, with some solid financial backing to grow the combined business. For Lenny in particular it is a very positive end to what looked like a couple of grim fates in the past.

On balance this looks like a great deal for both parties.