National Equipment Services, one of the largest general equipment rental companies in the USA with a fleet that includes about 650- mobile cranes, has opted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to enable it to shrug off some of its debt burden.

NES has also received a commitment for up to $30 million in debtor-in- possession (DIP) financing led by Wachovia Bank, National Association, that will be used, if necessary, to fund post-petition operating expenses and to meet supplier and employee obligations.

President and chief executive officer Joseph Gullion said: “NES is a solid company. It has a good portfolio of rental equipment, an excellent group of employees, and plenty of opportunities to grow. Unfortunately, it has too much debt and the balance sheet needed to be fixed. While our company generates a lot of cash from operations, it was not enough to repay our debt maturity obligations under our existing credit agreement, which is scheduled to mature in July 2003.”