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Las Vegas’ Ahern Rentals sold for $2B in cash

Updated November 14, 2022 - 6:01 pm

Ahern Rentals is being purchased for $2 billion in cash, a huge payday for a decades-old Las Vegas company with operations around the country.

Rival equipment firm United Rentals announced Monday that it reached a deal to acquire the construction equipment company led by Don Ahern. The transaction is expected to close by year’s end.

Founded in 1953, Ahern Rentals is the eighth-largest equipment rental firm in North America, with around 2,100 employees and 44,000 customers, according to a news release.

It generated $842 million in revenue last year, has a rental fleet of more than 60,000 units, and boasts 106 locations nationally, according to a presentation from the buyer. Ahern’s equipment offerings include scissor lifts, scaffolding, excavators, backhoe loaders and trenchers.

United Rentals, based in Stamford, Connecticut, said its board unanimously approved the $2 billion buyout.

“I’m proud of what we’ve built at Ahern Rentals over nearly seven decades, and I’m extremely pleased that the combination with United Rentals will take the business forward in this next chapter of growth,” Ahern, CEO of the family-owned business, said in Monday’s news release. “I want to thank our employees for driving the results that make this transaction possible. This is a strong outcome for both organizations and our customers.”

Ahern’s name might be familiar to people who have seen construction equipment bearing his logo at various job sites and storage yards in the Las Vegas Valley. He also purchased the once-shuttered, former Lucky Dragon hotel-casino for $36 million in 2019 and reopened it as the nongaming Ahern Hotel.

Last year, Ahern bought a new corporate headquarters, acquiring a nine-story office building on Rancho Drive at U.S. Highway 95 for $17.5 million from the city of Las Vegas.

A few of his businesses were also in the spotlight for political-related reasons during the pandemic.

In 2020, two of his businesses faced fines for hosting Trump campaign events that defied state-imposed pandemic restrictions.

In fall 2021, the Ahern Hotel, on Sahara Avenue just west of the Strip, hosted a QAnon-linked convention where people made unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election and cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines.

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

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