Hyde Park Acquires Essex Crane Rental

Middle-market private equity firm Kirtland Capital Partners, Beachwood, Ohio, has entered into an agreement to sell Essex Crane Rental Corp., Buffalo Grove, Ill., to Hyde Park Acquisition Corp. for $210 million. Kirtland acquired Essex in May of 2000.

The closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the stockholders of Hyde Park and is expected to close in the second half of 2008. Essex, with more than 400 cranes and attachments in its fleet, is the world's largest provider of Manitowoc lattice-boom crawler cranes and attachments. Essex supplies cranes for construction projects related to power generation, petro-chemical, refineries, water treatment and purification, bridges, highways, hospitals, shipbuilding and commercial construction.

Following its purchase, New York-based Hyde Park, a blank check company, will change its name to Essex Crane Rental Corp. and seek a NASDAQ listing. The Essex management team is expected to remain intact with Ron Schad continuing as CEO.

Schad said in a letter this week that Hyde Park Acquisition is well capitalized and intends to use its capital strength to grow Essex. “The executive management team of Essex is excited about the opportunities of working with Hyde Park,” his statement said. “Because of the confidence that the executive management team has in our company and our capabilities, we have also decided to continue our personal investment in the ownership of Essex Crane Rental Corp.”