Acquisitions from Q1 worth revisiting

While we are only five months into 2024, mergers and acquisitions have dominated news in the crane and specialized transportation sector, shaking up the industry. Many of ACT’s top lists, such as the ACT100 and ACTTransport50 will be greatly impacted by these developments. Here are a few of the most noteworthy transactions.

ACT highlights several transactions thus far in 2024.


■ In early January 2024, Barnhart Crane and Rigging purchased South Carolina-based White Crane, marking the company’s second branch in the state.

■ In the company’s second acquisition of the 2024, Barnhart acquired Baxter Crane and Rigging of Tupelo, MS. The purchase agreement includes Baxter’s crane rental service, equipment and employees.


■ Barnhart Crane and Rigging purchased CR Holland Crane Service of Forest City, IA. The acquisition marks Barnhart’s fifth branch in Iowa, further solidifying the Memphis-based company’s presence in the upper Midwest, where it also operates branches in Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

■ North American specialized transport operator Daseke was acquired by TFI International in an all-cash transaction worth $1.1 billion. TFI is a Canadian general transport and logistics company that has made 126 acquisitions in the U.S. and Canada since 2008. Daseke is more involved in specialized transport. It has a fleet of 4,900 tractors, 11,000 flatbed and specialized trailers, plus one million square feet of industrial warehousing. Daseke is the sixth largest specialized transport company in the world according to the 2023 ICTransport50 ranking. In the ACTTransport50 ranking, just for North America, Daseke is ranked in second place.

■ Industrial services group Steel River in the U.S. purchased crane and equipment repair specialist WHECO. WHECO repairs, restores and inspects cranes and other heavy equipment worldwide. It specializes in repairing accident-damaged cranes and offers certificates and warranties. Facilities include shops down the west coast of the U.S. and a shop in South Carolina.

Steel River said it aims to build a lifting equipment solutions platform across the nation. The company said, “The acquisition significantly expands Steel River’s capabilities in its existing markets, bringing expansive new facilities and additional technical expertise on board.”

Adding WHECO’s team of more than 60 employees to Steel River, mostly on the west coast, takes the total above 250. The acquisition reinforces the Steel River CraneTech division by expanding capability in mobile cranes and aerial work platforms.

Photo: Boss Heay Haul

■ Rope company Samson in the U.S. acquired French rope company Corderie Henri Lancelin. The deal between Washington-based Samson and Ernée-based Lancelin was for an undisclosed sum. Lancelin is a fourth-generation family company started in 1907. It is known as an innovator, especially in the field of maritime ropes. It has a testing facility with a machine capable of breaking ropes with a strength of up to 661 tons.


■ The Bay Crane Companies has purchased two crane service companies in the Mid-Atlantic region from ML Holdings (ML): United Crane & Rigging and Crane Rental Company. This acquisition adds to Bay Crane two full-service locations in Baltimore, MD and Capital Heights, MD, along with a fleet of 88 cranes and hoists and almost 200 trucks, trailers and other support equipment.

■ Bennett On-Site Services, operating as BOSS Crane & Rigging and its subsidiary BOSS Heavy Haul, affiliates of the Bennett Family of Companies, has acquired over-the-road super heavy haul transport equipment, along with drivers and operational managers, from Cowboy’s Services’ division CSI Heavy Haul. CSI Heavy Haul, formerly operating out of Channelview, TX, brings decades of experience as an expert in specialized super heavy haul, heavy haul and trucking services since its establishment in 1983.

■ United Rentals completed the acquisition of temporary roadway rental business Yak Access, Yak Mat and New South Access & Environmental Solutions from Platinum Equity for $1.1 billion in cash. Yak rents a fleet of 600,000 hardwood, softwood and composite mats to provide surface protection in construction and maintenance and repair operations, in particular for utility and midstream oil and gas customers. Yak generated revenues of $353 million in the year to December 31, 2023.


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