The biggest heavy equipment rental company in the United States, United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI), has agreed to purchase rival RSC Holdings Inc. for $1.9 billion.
United’s $18 per share offer is a 58% increase on RSC’s closing price from December 15. RSC shares climbed 55.3%, or $6.30, to $17.67 in afternoon trading. United Rental shares rose 3.5%, or 92 cents, to $27.95. According to the Associated Press, the deal has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2012.
“This transaction marks a transformative moment in our company’s history,” said United Rentals Chief Executive Officer Michael Kneeland in the statement. “We have a tremendous opportunity to become the supplier of choice for customers throughout North America.”
RSC provides heavy equipment rental services to clients in a variety of sectors including the construction, petrochemical and manufacturing across the United States and Canada. United Rentals are based in Connecticut and operate an integrated network of more than 550 rental locations in the United States and Canada, making them the largest equipment rental company in the world.