Rotunda Creates Crane Distribution Giant

Rotunda Capital Partners has formed American Equipment Holdings (AEH) to combine American Equipment, Pacific Crane & Hoist and Allied Crane. This transaction forms one of the largest independent distributors of overhead crane and hoist products and services in the Western US.

AEH provides new and replacement equipment and parts, as well as installation, inspections, preventative maintenance, repair services and training. The company sells hoist and crane products made by Detroit Hoist, Columbus McKinnon, ACCO, R&M, Demag, Gorbel, Spanco, IMS, Harrington, and Conductix.

With the close of the transaction, AEH will now serve over 2,000 local, regional and national customers that are active in the industrial, automotive, mining, public utilities, military, aerospace, defense and energy sectors; and will operate through 14 locations throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

American Equipment was founded in 1969 by Ken Zimmerman and is based in Salt Lake City; Pacific Crane & Hoist was founded in 2007 by Michael Perera and is based in Brea, California; and Allied Crane was founded in 1976 by Dave Costa and is based in Pittsburg, California.

Post close, Adam Zimmerman, the CEO of American Equipment (and the son of its founder), will retain a significant equity interest in the company and will lead the combined business; Michael Perera will also retain an equity interest and he will continue to be active in the business; and Dave Costa will continue with the company as a special advisor.

“This transaction continues Rotunda’s foundation of acquiring family and founder-owned companies and partnering with strong management teams,” said Corey Whisner, a partner at Rotunda. “We look forward to working alongside management to leverage the combined company’s geographic footprint and comprehensive solution capabilities to expand upon its existing value-proposition, while also accelerating expansion into new geographies and markets.”

“Over the last half-century, American Equipment’s team has built a leading regional equipment and service business and they are well-positioned for substantial future growth,” said Dan Lipson, a partner at Rotunda. “In addition to supporting the acquisitions of Pacific Crane & Hoist and Allied Crane, we are committed to helping the company build a business of national scale through both organic growth and additional acquisitions.”

Rotunda invests in businesses with enterprise values of $30 million to $150 million. Sectors of interest include asset-light logistics, value-added distribution, specialty finance, and industrial and business services.

“This is an incredible opportunity for American Equipment,” said Mr. Zimmerman. “From our first meeting, it was clear that Rotunda shared similar views as to the foundation we have created and what our company could achieve. Through this partnership, our culture and high-touch customer experience that we are known for won’t change, but we gain the expertise and capital to grow in a market with significant opportunity.”

“Rotunda has been looking for an investment in material handling distribution and service for some time,” said Ryan Aprill, a vice president at Rotunda. “The combination of American Equipment with Pacific Crane & Hoist and Allied Crane brings together more than 100 years of collective industry experience and creates the premier consolidation platform in the highly fragmented North American overhead crane and hoist market.”

Rotunda was founded as an independent sponsor in 2009 and is led by managing partner John Fruehwirth, and partners Dan Lipson, Corey Whisner, and Bob Wickham. In January 2021, Rotunda closed its debut institutional private equity fund, Rotunda Capital Partners Fund II LP, with more than $195 million of capital commitments. Rotunda is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland with an additional office near Chicago in Evanston, Illinois.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | June 15, 2021