Belgium: Belgium-based Arcomet, the world's largest tower crane-owning company, has announced its latest investment plans. “In 2006 and 2007 we will be investing $63 million in new facilities in Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the United States. This will provide additional jobs for 50 people for each of the next two years. In addition, there are initiatives in the pipeline which will assure Arcomet's growth,” said Dirk Theyskens, Arcomet managing director.

Theyskens revealed the plans at a celebration event at the Paal-Beringen headquarters at the end of September to mark both the company's 50th anniversary and the birthday of Arcomet founder Karel Theyskens.

Arcomet (Ateliers de Constructions Métalliques) was started in 1956 by Karel Theyskens and wife Jéos as a supplier to the coal mining industry. In 1962 the focus shifted to the construction industry and Arcomet began producing concrete mixers and other machinery before building its first crane factory in 1972. In the 1980s the core activity changed from manufacturing to leasing.

Rapid grow This an Arcomet characteristic. Sales have grown from $6.3 million in 1986 to almost $165 million. Since 1996 $254 million has been invested in logistics facilities and the tower crane rental fleet of 1,500 units that ranges from small self erectors to large top slewers from a range of manufacturers. By the end of next year the company intends to have reduced the average age of the crane fleet to less than five years.

Arcomet, which has 450 employees at 18 branch offices in nine countries, is “growing by sharing instead of competing,” according to Dirk Theyskens. Expansion is by developing partnerships, Theyskens continued, where, usually, joint ventures are set up with local companies. Partnerships are in place in the UK and US,

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