Clearlake to more than triple its investment in crane company: source

Clearlake Capital Group LP expects to make more than 3x its money with the sale of AmQuip Crane Rental LLC, a source familiar with the transaction said.

On Thursday, Clearlake said it completed the sale of the provider of rental lifting services to Apollo Global Management LLC. The deal closed July 29.

Apollo also finished its buy of Maxim Crane Works LP, the statement said. Apollo plans to combine Maxim with AmQuip, creating a U.S. lifting equipment company valued at close to $1.4 billion, Reuters reported in May. Platinum Equity, which acquired Maxim Crane in 2008, was the seller.

The sale of AmQuip represents a less than two-year hold for Clearlake. It’s also the third time a private equity firm will own AmQuip. Altpoint Capital Partners of New York was part of a group, including Lehman Brothers and Bard Capital, that bought AmQuip in 2007, the website said. Clearlake acquired the company in 2014.

How much the Los Angeles PE firm invested in AmQuip is unclear, but the deal is expected to produce a roughly 90 percent gross IRR for Clearlake, the source said.

Founded in 1966, Maxim, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, rents and sells lift equipment, including hydraulic truck cranes, rough terrain cranes and crawler cranes. It has more than 1,400 cranes, the website said. AmQuip was launched in 1967 and has more than 550 cranes, a May statement said.

Bryan Carlisle, Maxim’s CEO, is expected to serve as CEO of the combined Maxim-AmQuip. Al Bove, AmQuip’s CEO, will continue to run company operations and serve on the leadership team, the May statement said.

Clearlake used its third fund, which raised more than $785 million in 2012, to invest in AmQuip. In September 2015, Clearlake closed its fourth flagship fund at $1.38 billion.

Fund III was generating a 32.2 percent net IRR and 1.4x investment multiple as of Dec. 31, California Public Employees’ Retirement System data shows. Fund IV, a very young fund, is producing a -43.9 percent net IRR and a 0.9x investment multiple, CalPERS said.

AmQuip could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact AmQuip CEO Albert Bove: al.bove@amquip.com

Photo of an AmQuip crane courtesy of AmQuip