Dutch equipment rental firm Boels bids $652 million for rival Cramo

Dutch equipment rental firm Boels Topholding B.V. plans to offer 592 million euros ($652 million) for all the shares in rival Cramo, seeking to create a leading pan-European player in equipment rental, the companies said on Monday.

By Tarmo Virki

Nov 11 (Reuters) - Dutch equipment rental firm Boels Topholding B.V. plans to offer 592 million euros ($652 million) for all the shares in rival Cramo CRA1V.HE, seeking to create a leading pan-European player in equipment rental, the companies said on Monday.

The deal will add Cramo's operations Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, including a joint venture in Russia and Ukraine, to Boels' Western European base.

"Our vision is to build a European leader in the equipment rental market. The combined company will be a leading player in Europe with a business in 17 countries, and a top-3 position in 12 of those," said Pierre Boels, chief executive of privately held Boels Topholding.

Boels will offer 13.25 euros for each Cramo share. Cramo had said last week it was in "advanced talks over a potential offer" at that price, without providing details.

Shares in Finland-based Cramo rose more than 5% on the news on Monday, and are up 40% so far this month.

Cramo said its board has unanimously decided to recommend shareholders to accept the offer, and shareholders representing 18.9% of shares have agreed to take it up, which analysts said is increasing the likelihood of a successful takeover.

"The Offer Price represents an attractive cash premium and is a reflection of the trust Boels has in Cramo as a company and the strategy moving forward as one company," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, Cramo's board chairman.

The combined company would have an annual revenue of around 1.25 billion euros and manage one of the largest depot networks in Europe, with more than 750 facilities.

($1 = 0.9074 euros)

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn, editing by Louise Heavens)

((tarmo.virki@thomsonreuters.com; +372 564 4562;))

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