For the past few years, Joseph Muench has been approached by several parties interested in buying Action Equipment Rental, a construction and general tool store with locations in Alamogordo, Las Cruces and Silver City, N.M. His answer always was, “No.”
“The rental industry has been very good to me and my family. I started working in the wash bay when I was in college to help pay for my education and I found the passion for the rental business,” Muench says.
However, in late May, he agreed to sell the company to Volvo Rents, Shippensburg, Pa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but he said Volvo Rents, which has been on a buying spree to build a network of company-owned rental stores in North America, didn’t want to take “no” for an answer.
“We fit into their plans in terms of our footprint. Action Equipment Rental was the only independent in a large radius. We had a great business, great people and great locations with a healthy, profitable company,” says Muench, who also recently served as the Region Eight director for the American Rental Association (ARA).
The decision, he said, came down to doing what was best for his family, the employees and the company. “I felt comfortable selling to Volvo Rents because our cultures aligned so well and I knew they would take care of the company and the team that has worked so hard to make Action successful,” Muench says.
After saying “no” several times, Volvo Rents pretty much made the proverbial offer he couldn’t refuse that fit in with his three criteria for selling the business. The offer made sense financially for his family; Volvo Rents would be able to offer employees a better benefits package along with growth opportunities at more locations; and Volvo Rents immediately invested in additional inventory to better compete in the market.
Gary Stansberry of The Stansberry Firm, Granbury, Texas, represented Action Equipment Rental in the transaction.
Volvo Rents retained all of the Action Equipment Rental employees except Muench’s controller and Muench initially stayed on as a consultant under a 90-day contract that already has been extended for another 90 days.
“I absolutely love the equipment rental business, but it got to the point where the decision to sell becomes easier. I’ve been impressed by their friendliness and desire to keep the company’s employees happy,” he says.
Muench continues to own the rental stores’ buildings with Volvo Rents now the tenant. He also will now concentrate on his two other businesses in Las Cruces, ProCon and Concrete Polishing HQ, both of which he launched within the last two years.
“ProCon is a new model that I haven’t seen out there,” Muench says. “There are stores that sell contractor supplies, but no equipment. There are equipment dealerships that sell big machines, but then you can’t buy the small power equipment, tools or contractor supplies. We’re putting all of that under one roof — new equipment sales, used equipment sales, power tools, power equipment, contractor supplies, parts, contractor equipment repairs, OSHA and ANSI inspections, and more,” he says.
Muench launched the concept as a test in a small facility and expected to move into a new location with a 12,000-sq.-ft. building and about two acres of additional land by Sept. 1.
“We want our customers to come in and say, ‘Wow!’ We want to have a good selection of both new and used equipment in stock. There are many people out there that say, ‘We can find it’ or ‘We can order it for you.’ We will be the company that can take care of our customers on the spot and with a sense of urgency,” he says.
Muench’s other company, Concrete Polishing HQ, serves as the main distributor in the western United States for Superabrasive, Hochton, Ga. His company sells the Lavina concrete polishing and floor preparation equipment from Superabrasive to a growing dealership network, which is typically made up of equipment rental stores, in the central and western United States.
“It’s definitely a niche product for rental companies and we’ve had 100 percent success with each company we have set up as a dealer,” Muench says.