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World’s largest equipment rental company buys Hattiesburg-based business for $1.1 billion

Photo courtesy of Yak Access

United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental company, has completed its $1.1 billion acquisition of Mississippi-based industrial mat manufacturer Yak.

Yak, a Hattiesburg company encompassing Yak Access, LLC, Yak Mat, LLC, and New South Access & Environmental Solutions, LLC, is a leader in the North American matting industry with a fleet of approximately 600,000 hardwood, softwood, and composite mats providing surface protection across both construction and maintenance, repair as well as operations applications.

United Rentals announced plans for the acquisition in early March, citing opportunities to generate a boost in new customers while building upon the goodwill with current customers in a market that is growing nationally.

“Our acquisition of Yak further diversifies and differentiates United Rentals’ specialty business offerings while also driving shareholder returns,” United Rentals President and CEO Matthew Flannery said. “This newly created ‘matting solutions’ business will create another adjacency for our company with scale in a large and growing market segment.”

Flannery is also confident that the acquisition will yield positive financial results for United Rentals by allowing the company to utilize Yak’s expertise in the matting industry while using United’s business acumen to further advance both brands.

“Yak meets the strategic, financial, and cultural criteria we aim for in acquisitions. We expect this new line of business to augment our specialty offerings as we continue to execute on our strategy of further differentiating ourselves by providing one-stop shop capabilities for our customers,” Flannery said.

The Hattiesburg business predominantly serves customers in the utility and midstream verticals. For the year-end in 2023, Yak generated $171 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization on $353 million of adjusted revenue across over 40 U.S. states.

“Yak is excited to accelerate its business potential as part of United Rentals. This combination will benefit both our customers and existing employees as our established expertise in access solutions complements the broader value proposition United Rentals offers,” Yak CEO Frank Bardonaro said. “I’m proud of the leading company we built and am happy we found a great partner for the next chapter.”

United Rentals expects to use a combination of new debt financing and existing capacity under its asset-based loan facility to fund the acquisition and related expenses.

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