United Rentals Buying BlueLine

United Rentals, Inc. said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueLine Rental from Platinum Equity for approximately $2.1 billion in cash. The board of directors of United Rentals has unanimously approved the agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance and customary conditions.

The addition of BlueLine’s fleet will expand United Rentals’ fleet by over 46,000 rental assets with an original cost of approximately $1.5 billion. BlueLine is one of the ten largest equipment rental companies in North America, serving over 50,000 customers in the construction and industrial sectors with a focus on mid-sized and local accounts. The company has 114 locations and over 1700 employees based in 25 U.S. states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

United Rentals said BlueLine’s footprint will increase its capacity in many of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, including both U.S. coasts, the Gulf South and Ontario, adding that the combination will add more mid-sized and local accounts to United Rentals’ base. The combination will make a broader range of fleet and services available to BlueLine customers, creating opportunities to cross-sell specialty solutions, United Rentals said.

BlueLine and United Rentals utilize many of the same technology systems, including RentalMan for field operations. The two companies have similar rental infrastructures, which will United Rentals said should facilitate the integration and help with the onboarding of employees. 

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said, “There are some distinct advantages to the BlueLine integration, such as our common technology systems and strong safety cultures. BlueLine has a fleet mix that complements our own, and a well-diversified base of mid-sized and local customers, many of whom can use our specialty solutions. We expect to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for an exciting 2019.”