Renta re-invented the construction equipment rental business
It all started from a strong vision of what a modern equipment rental company should look like. Renta’s current CEO Kari Aulasmaa and Intera’s advisor Erkki Norvio, both veterans in the industry, saw an untapped opportunity to build a rental company, where decisions are made close to the customer and operations are supported by digital tools. In 2016, Renta Group was formed by the merger of three companies – Telinekymppi Oy, Kehä-Kone Oy and Jasoca Oy – with Intera’s support.
Today a leading player in the Baltic Sea Region, Renta Group provides rental services for a broad range of machinery and equipment used on construction sites and by industrial customers. The company also provides modern construction site facilities, scaffolding, and weather protection services, as well as construction site services. Besides a strong vision and industry insight, an open-minded and expansionary attitude was essential in establishing the company.
“We wanted to create a new challenger to an industry dominated by two large incumbents and to provide a sought-after alternative to customers. With Intera’s support, we started by building a nationwide rental agency network in Finland by organic means during 2016-2018. After that, we expanded to Sweden and Norway through acquisitions. We did our homework thoroughly and discussed with dozens of potential acquisition targets. We were keen to make sure that the acquired companies were a good match with Renta, and that the companies would smoothly integrate into Renta’s ways of operating. The expansion to Sweden was exceptionally successful, and it quickly became our largest market,” says Kari Aulasmaa, CEO of Renta.
By the end of 2021, Renta operated in more than 100 locations in all of the Nordics and in Poland. Next, the company aims to expand to Continental Europe and to the UK through organic growth and acquisitions.
Renta is a front-runner in digitalising the rental sector
Renta was among the first companies to develop digital tools and systems in the equipment rental industry. Having been built from the ground up, the company has been able to develop tailored tools right from the beginning. Aside from the growth initiatives, Renta’s success has been driven by digital development.
“Since day one, digital tools have been at the core of our operations. With the help of our top tool Renta Easy, our customers have been able to monitor the utilisation rate and costs of their equipment in an easy manner, as well as to access information about different machinery and their availability. Instead of just creating a sales channel, we wanted to provide our customers with a full equipment management service and help them optimise the utilisation of their equipment. Through pilots, our customers contributed to the product development from the start. Aided by digitalisation, the same amount of work can be done with a smaller equipment fleet,” says Aulasmaa.
In 2021, Intera and Renta’s key personnel sold Renta to IK Partners, a European private equity firm. Thus, the growth story continues in private equity ownership, although Renta was for a number of years seen as a potential IPO candidate in Finland, thanks to its strong financial development.
“I only have positive experiences from private equity ownership. To succeed in the sector, you need investment capacity, expertise in M&A, as well as international experience and networks. Internationalisation was crucial for Renta’s growth story, and we did it very successfully with Intera as a partner. In addition to competence, the cornerstones of good co-operation are openness, mutual trust, and a shared vision”, says Aulasmaa.
Innovative thinking and a business model built on local decision-making remain Renta’s strengths. Most of Renta’s key personnel continue working for the company under the new ownership.
“We set out to create an agile medium-sized challenger in the rental sector. It’s fair to say that we succeeded as the original target was met and then greatly surpassed during our journey together. On the back of its strong business model, Renta is in an excellent position to continue its international growth journey,” says Christoffer Zilliacus, Partner at Intera.
- Industry: Rental of construction machinery and equipment
- Established: 2015
- Year of investment: 2015
- Year of exit: 2022
Key figures in the year of investment:
- Turnover: 13 MEUR
- Personnel: Approximately 30
- Locations: 2
Key figures in the year of exit:
- Turnover: 278 MEUR
- Personnel: Over 1,000
- Locations: 103
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