Utility One Source, a heavy equipment sales and rental businesses funded by Blackstone (NYSE: BX), has acquired Load King, a specialty trailers provider, from Manitex International.
Load King, based in Elk Point, South Dakota, will keep its management team. The company, founded in 1956, designs, manufactures and markets custom and standard model trailers. The price was not disclosed.
Utility One Source was founded in February by private equity funds managed by Blackstone. The company aims to be a single-source supplier for the utility and heavy equipment industries, providing equipment sales, rentals, parts and installation, customization, remanufacturing and aftermarket services.
Load King is the sixth acquisition—all family-owned and –operated businesses-- for the Utility One Source business. They include Custom Truck & Equipment, Utility Fleet Sales, Forestry Equipment of Virginia, UCO Equipment and TNT Equipment. The Utility One Source partnership has 18 locations.
Blackstone, an alternative investments manager with about $300 billion under management, announced the formation of Utility One Source in January 2015 with three of the businesses. The company is chaired by Chris Ragot, formerly group president of Terex, general manager of Ingersoll-Rand Europe, CEO of FreightCar America, CEO of Novariant and CEO of Exopack.
Blackstone is providing capital for adding equipment and expanding the geographic area covered by the company. Each of the businesses acquired remains partially family-owned and -operated.
In another heavy equipment deal earlier in December, PacWest Machinery LLC of Seattle announced it had acquired the operating assets of Clyde/West Inc. of Portland, Oregon, a construction equipment provider in the Pacific Northwest. PacWest Machinery is owned by Joshua Green Corp. of Seattle, which is making its first foray into the equipment distribution business with the deal. Also in December, American Securities LLC and P2 Capital Partners LLC agreed to buy farm equipment maker Blount International LLC (NYSE: BLT), a farm equipment manager based in Portland, Oregon, for $855 million. Blount makes chainsaws and log splitters.