Ruthmann has acquired US equipment distributor ReachMaster from owner Ebbe Christensen in an all share buyout. The company will operate as Ruthmann ReachMaster North America.
The deal was concluded and signed last night during the Conexpo exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada. The ReachMaster business will be merged with Florida based Ruthmann North America, with Christensen heading the merged company, while Ruthmann managing director Rolf Kulawik will be chairman and Ruthmann’s head of sales Uwe Strotmann becomes an executive board member.
The management group will also include Tom Goyer of Ruthmann North America as vice president of sales for truck mounted lifts, Tom McKendree of ReachMaster as vice president of sales for compact lift and material handling and ReachMaster’s logistics manager Conrad Juliao as vice president operations. The new company will operate from ReachMaster’s new facility in the Porter suburb of Houston.
ReachMaster was established in Houston, Texas in 2001 as a subsidiary of Falck Schmidt, which merged with Denka Lift in 2005, becoming World Lift and then Skako Lift. Christensen acquired the company in a management buy out in 2012 - see: MBO at ReachMaster - and distributes Falcon spider and atrium lifts, Blue Lift spider lifts, Ruthmann truck mounted platforms, Almac self-levelling scissors and booms and Galizia pick & carry cranes.
Rolf Kulawik said: “Ruthmann benefits from many years of experience and a large network. This enables us greater access to the North American market. We welcome the ReachMaster employees to the Ruthmann family and look forward to expand the company together.”
Uwe Strotmann added: “With this acquisition, we will adopt and expand ReachMaster’s existing operational framework. Additional jobs in sales and service will be created. This is another major milestone in Ruthmann’s ongoing internationalisation strategy.”
Tom Goyer said: “The Ruthmann products fit perfectly in the North American marketplace. Together with the extended team and the experience of the ReachMaster employees, we look forward to offering the best of everything in one, coordinated package: High performance, top quality, superb service and customer support.”
Ebbe Christensen, who also chairs IPAF’s North American regional council, added: “After eight years as an independent distributor it was a natural evolution for our team to partner up with Ruthmann, following years of very successful and always familiar partnership. The new company will represent the strongest line up of high quality aerial lift products in North America, bringing added value to our customers on all levels. This new partnership will not only bring an unmatched product portfolio to the market but expand business relationships across the industry from the rental market to end-users. We are excited to expand our footprint in the industry, while we continue to represent our current lines and provide sales and service to all our customers as usual.”
This looks like a good move for both parties, it provides Ruthmann with a strong, well established specialist distribution base for North America, while allowing Ebbe Christensen to cash out of the business that he has built from scratch over almost 20 years.
Keeping him on board to manage the company makes total sense, in that he has the knowledge and the enthusiasm to use the additional resources and funding of a strong owner to take the Reachmaster business to the next level, while preparing it for the eventual handover to the next generation.
As long as the Ruthmann senior managers can leave him to get on with the job that he knows best, they will both prosper.