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United Rentals, Inc. history, profile and corporate video

 United Rentals, Inc. operates as an equipment rental company. It offers rent to construction and industrial companies, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and government entities. The company operates through two segments: General Rentals and Trench Safety, Power & HVAC. The General Rentals segment includes the rental of construction, aerial, industrial and homeowner equipment and related services and activities. The Trench Safety, Power and HVAC segment includes the rental of construction products and related services. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Greenwich, CT.”

“United Rentals History

SEC investigation

In 2004, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was conducting an inquiry into the accounting records of the company. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the stock and securities holders of United Rentals to allege its earnings manipulation. While exonerated from any misdoings, United Rentals did have to recalculate its earnings for the fiscal years, 2003-2004.

Abramoff scandal

In 2008, former Senate staffer Trevor Blackann pleaded guilty and United Rentals lobbyists James Hirni and Todd Boulanger were named for defrauding the government on behalf of United Rentals in 2003. Boulanger and Hirni gave Blackann and a House staffer an all-expenses-paid trip to Game 1 of the 2003 World Series in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill that favored United Rentals. At the time, Hirni and Boulanger were lobbyists in Jack Abramoff’s group at Greenberg Traurig.

Business outlook and transformation

In general, recent U.S.contractors have increasingly relied on rentals of equipment rather than owning or leasing, as had been the case in the past. United Rentals, resultantly, is poised to benefit tremendously from this shift given its current market share. Nonetheless, URI seeks to improve its overall business model and, subsequently, has undertaken new initiatives to achieve this goal:

On December 26, 2006 United Rentals announced the sale of their Highway Technology division to HTS Acquisition, Inc., an entity newly formed by affiliates of private equity investors Wynnchurch Capital Partners and Oak Hill Special Opportunities Fund, L.P.

On April 10, 2007 United Rentals announced that the board of directors would be exploring strategic alternatives for the entity, including a potential sale of the company. It was also announced that Wayland Hicks, CEO, would be retiring in Summer 2007. Michael Kneeland is now the acting CEO.

On July 23, 2007 United Rentals announced a definitive agreement to sell the company to Cerberus Capital Management in a transaction valued at approximately $6.6 billion, including the assumption of approximately $2.6 billion in debt obligations. The board of directors of United Rentals approved the merger agreement and had recommended the approval of the transaction by United Rentals’ stockholders. In anticipation of the merger, United Rentals embarked on a series of restructuring moves which included department closures and layoffs.

On November 15, 2007 United Rentals announced that Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. informed it that Cerberus was not prepared to proceed with the purchase of United Rentals on the terms set forth in its merger agreement, dated July 22, 2007. The company noted that Cerberus had specifically confirmed that there had not been a material adverse change at United Rentals. On December 21, 2007 a Delaware Chancery Court ruling denied United Rentals attempt to force Cerberus to follow through on the takeover bid. However, the court did order Cerberus to pay a $100 million termination fee.

On December 16, 2011, United Rentals and RSC Holdings, Inc. announced that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement, under which United Rentals would acquire RSC in a cash-and-stock transaction. The merger was finalized on April 30, 2012.

URI rents over 2,900 different classes of equipment. With the acquisition of RSC Rentals finalized, United Rentals now holds about 13% of the equipment rental industry by revenue, the biggest share of any company in its segment.

Fortune 500

In 2014, United Rentals was listed in the Fortune 500 for the first time. Based on 2013 revenues of $4.955 billion, the company was ranked at no. 500 exactly.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “United Rentals

Industry:

Rental & Leasing