Shares of General Finance (NASDAQ:GFN) gained more than 50% on Friday morning after the portable storage company announced it has agreed to be acquired by United Rentals (NYSE:URI) for $996 million. The deal offers a substantial premium to General Finance’s Thursday close, and the stock is moving as a result.
After markets closed Thursday United Rentals announced its intention to acquire General Finance for $19 per share in cash, well above the target’s previous close of $12.17.
General Finance provides mobile storage and modular office space for a number of industries, operating as Pac-Van and Container King in North America and as Royal Wolf in Australia and New Zealand.
Since its formation United Rentals has been a serial acquirer, and CEO Matthew Flannery said in a statement the company sees opportunities to cross-sell mobile storage and office solutions to its current lineup of customers.
“We’re confident the time is right to reengage in M&A with this highly strategic combination, as our end markets recover from the challenges of 2020,” Flannery said. “General Finance is a customer-focused organization with excellent field operators and specialized expertise that complements our own.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, with United Rentals hoping to close the transaction by the end of the current quarter.
Given United Rentals’ bulk and the strong premium being offered, it seems unlikely a bidding war will emerge. If that’s true, General Finance holders should expect to have $19 per share in cash added to their brokerage accounts by early summer.
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