Family business Aertssen Group is active in over 20 countries. The company employs a workforce of 1,350 people, and had a turnover of €232m in 2016.

Michielsens is a family business that has been active in Belgium for 50 years. It is among Belgium’s top three largest crane rental companies and is mainly focused on mobile telescopic cranes. The company has a workforce of some 200 employees and in 2016 recorded a turnover of €24m.

With the takeover, the group wants to take strategic advantage of both companies’ strengths to reinforce its own market position, as a heavy lift contractor offering total solutions and as a crane rental company for all customer segments.

A number of depots will be added, which will benefit the geographical distribution of the fleet of cranes. 

Aertssen added: “Moreover, the deployment of mobile cranes will also be optimised via a digital platform, thus saving thousands of crane kilometres per month. Plus, the engineering department of Aertssen will be able to serve a broader customer base and the proprietary technology for planning high-quality, safe lifting assignments will be used on a larger scale.”

“The acquisition of Michielsens is an important strategic step and underscores the healthy ambitions of our family business for growth, both in Belgium and internationally,” said Greg Aertssen, chief executive officer of Aertssen Group. ”The idea is for Michielsens to be run as an independent business unit within Aertssen Group with retention of the current employees and its own identity and customers, which very much complement those of Aertssen”.

The takeover is expected to be in place by mid-February 2018, once the standard legal procedure has been completed.