Coast Crane acquires SI Equipment Services

24 April 2008

Seattle-based Coast Crane has closed a deal to purchase SI Equipment Services based in Concord, CA. SI Equipment Services previously operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Swinerton Inc., one of the largest contractors in California.

SI Equipment Services, which has a branch in Orange, CA, was a good match for Coast Crane to grow its reach in California, according to Larry Zaback, Coast Crane chief operating officer. SI Equipment had the same business model as Coast Crane, he said, and a very strong product support and sales group.

“We shared the same synergies, and they were distributors for Manitowoc Potain self-erecting tower cranes in California and we are the distributors for Manitowoc Potain self-erecting towers in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon,” said Zaback. “It was a very good fit.”

Coast Crane has worked to establish the market for self-erecting tower cranes on the West Coast, Zaback said, and the acquisition of SI Equipment fit with their growth strategy for this product line. “It is part of our business plan to grow [our market] for the self-erecting tower crane and also the hammer head tower crane,” he said. “We are now working diligently on integrating their people and equipment into our operation.”

The acquisition brings the number of Coast Crane locations to 14, although Zaback said the company likely will continue to add locations as opportunities become available. “We are not going to stop at 14,” he said. “We are a very strong company and we like our position right now. We are always looking for opportunities to grow through acquisitions. We've earmarked different locations [in the Western region] with the idea of opening a branch a year through 2010.”

Most of SI Equipment's employees were retained by Coast Crane, including Rick Rios who will manage the new branch, and Jon Tierney, who will manage Coast Cranes' California operations for tower cranes and aerial work platforms.

Owned by a private equity group, Coast Crane is for sale, Zaback said, but that doesn't change the company's business plan or plans for expansion. “We are owned by a private equity group and that's what private equity groups do, they buy a company and watch it grow and if they can get the right dollar amount, they will sell it,” he said. “So yes we are for sale, although that has been on the back burner.”

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