Northern Crane crosses the border

10 April 2008


Acquisitive Canadian energy specialist Northern Crane has made its first US purchase, buying Mullen Crane & Transport in Idaho.

Over the last two years, Northern Crane Services Group (NCSG) has made a series of purchases of lifting and transport firms in the oil-rich region of Canada around Alberta. Northern Crane was established in 1987, and entered into a partnership with investor Northwest Capital Appreciation in 2006. In summer 2007, the firm bought A1 Crane, expanding its fleet of lifting equipment. This was followed with the purchase of special transport firm Trans-Tech Contracting, early this year. Northwest also owns construction crane hirer Coast Crane, which operates on the west coast of Canada and the US, and is managed separately.

The latest move will expand Northern Crane's business into the US. Mullen was founded in 1978, and has specialised in heavy crane rentals. It also offers special transport services. The firm operates in the chemical and petrochemical industries, and in mining, windmill and cellular tower erection, concrete and tilt-wall placing, steel erection, energy, and transportation.

Mullen has a fleet of Manitowoc crawlers and Grove mobiles, and covers Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah. In the current deal, co-founder Ray Mullen will join the board of Northern Crane. He and his management team plan to invest in the firm.

“We are excited to partner with such a well established and reputable company," said Leo Davis, NCSG CEO and co-founder. “Like NCSG, Mullen Crane is very much a family business and we are excited to welcome the Mullen Crane team to the NC Services Group of companies. Ray and his family have built a tremendous business and we couldn't be happier to welcome the whole team.”

“The acquisition is a very significant step in our strategy to strengthen our position as the lifting & heavy haul solutions provider of choice" said John Stevens, NCSG president and chief operating officer "Mullen Crane & Transport will be our platform company in the US Northwest. It will allow us significant opportunities to grow organically and through additional acquisitions. Their experience in the heavy lift, wind turbine transportation and erection business will be a huge benefit to our overall operations.”

Ray Mullen added, “The partnership is exciting for us and our customers as additional capital and resources provided by NCSG will allow us to continue to provide an outstanding level of service to our customers. In addition, we are excited about the synergies between our company and NCSG.”