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Sumitomo buys into Sunstate

Sumitomo Corp has purchased a minority stake in Phoenix, Arizona based rental company Sunstate.

The $50 million investment provides Sunstate with additional liquidity, allowing the company to both weather the current downturn and take advantage of growth opportunities as the market begins to pick up.

Michael Watts who owns a majority stake in Sunstate, will continue to head the company with the current management team.

Sunstate says that discussions have taken 18 months to reach a conclusion and that the two companies share the same values of quality, integrity, and concern for employees. In addition, a shared belief in the long-term prospects for the U.S. equipment rental industry.

Sumitomo already owns a 15 location equipment rental business in Canada operating under the SMS Rents brand. It says that it plans to become a leading company in the North American equipment rental market.

Click here to see Sunstate expands