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Construction equipment firm lays off 100-plus after $2B buyout

Updated February 3, 2023 - 4:34 pm

A construction equipment firm axed nearly 120 jobs in Southern Nevada last month, following its $2 billion purchase of Las Vegas’ Ahern Rentals, state records indicate.

United Rentals laid off 119 people in Las Vegas effective Jan. 6, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The department disclosed the job cuts on its website as part of a spreadsheet of notices issued under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The WARN Act, a labor law, helps ensure notice of certain closings and mass layoffs. DETR’s spreadsheet of notices issued this year did not provide any reasons for the employers’ actions.

The “majority” of United Rentals’ layoffs were listed as administrative positions, sales and accounts payable, and the company did not provide a reason for the cuts, said DETR Public Information Officer Valentina Bonaparte.

Efforts to speak with United Rentals about the job cuts were unsuccessful Thursday.

The company, based in Stamford, Connecticut, announced in November it was acquiring rival Ahern Rentals for about $2 billion in cash. Led by Don Ahern, the decades-old company was the eighth-largest equipment rental firm in North America.

Ahern Rentals boasted around 2,100 employees, 44,000 customers and 106 U.S. locations. Its equipment offerings included scissor lifts, scaffolding, excavators, backhoe loaders and trenchers.

The deal closed Dec. 7.

“Today we completed the Ahern acquisition on schedule and welcomed over 2,000 colleagues to Team United,” United Rentals CEO Matt Flannery said in a news release.

In an earnings release Jan. 25, Flannery said the company’s fourth-quarter results “capped an outstanding year, during which we set records for revenue, profitability, margins and returns.”

United Rentals booked $2.1 billion in net income last year, up almost 52 percent from 2021.

Flannery said on a conference call with analysts Jan. 26 that the Ahern deal was one of the highlights of the quarter, and his company was “really bullish about the talent we onboarded in this acquisition.”

“We had over 100 of the Ahern managers at our annual meeting earlier this month, and they fit like a hand in glove,” Flannery said. “And they’re excited to be part of United, and they’re raring to go. Now, we’re focused on optimizing the fleet and facilities. We’re running on schedule, and it’s boosting our resources at an ideal time to capture share.”

This story has been updated with additional information that DETR provided after the story was originally published.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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