Considerable M&A activity in the Rental Industry
There has been considerable M&A activity in the Rental industry with multiples up to 10x EBITDA. The strongly growing market combined with the complexity, engineering and customisation of solutions are driving margins. These factors also drive valuation multiples, next to the recurring nature of the business.
Key observations from our research:
- The European Rental Association (ERA) valued the industry at € 25,7 bln in 2017, the global market being valued at $ 90 bln and expected to grow with 4-5% per year. The biggest market in Europe (although not the strongest grower) is the UK. France and Germany are the two other largest markets in Europe and also among the strongest growing ones. Besides, The Netherlands are among the fastest growing countries with a 4,4% growth rate.
- The use of rental solutions is still strongest in the (construction) equipment market. Although we do see rental solutions spreading over other markets as well, like office equipment, plus industrial and consumer markets.
- Key drivers of growth in the Rental industry are:
- This market is growing ahead of the general economy;
- Increased regulations around safety asking for the latest up to date solutions;
- Increased penetration of rental instead of buying as a result of better use of capital and focus on Total Cost of Ownership decision making;
- Increased recognition of the role of rental in ensuring sustainable solutions;
- Long-term trend towards ‘sharing economy’
- Valuations are typically around 7-8x EBITDA: Valuation multiples are typically 7-8x EBITDA range with players who are focused on more and/or relatively rare complex solutions receiving the highest multiples. In addition, the more recurring the business the higher the multiple. Listed companies being valued on an average of 10x EBITDA.
- Managing the quality of the (asset) rental fleet is key: maintenance, replacement capex and expansion capex.
“The Rental solutions sector is becoming more and more of interest to strategic buyers as well as Private Equity. This is mainly related to the continuously increased penetration of rental instead of buying, the increased possibilities on improving utilization rates and better use of capital, resulting in further improvement of margins. The higher the complexity of the solution provided and the more recurring the business, the higher the multiple”