Lewis Equipment Co. Inc. on Sept. 18 filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas. The 24-year-old Grand Prairie, Texas.-based crane-and-lift supplier listed over $100 million in assets and liabilities. Calls to Lewis executives were not returned. The company is the exclusive North American dealer for China-made Yongmao SunCrane tower cranes, Zoomlion mobile- and-crawler cranes and Hercules elevators. Lewis bought Verticon’s New Zealand tower- crane and hoist division for $11.75 million in late 2007, as well as $33.9 million of Zoomlion truck cranes about 18 months ago. According to court records, the company has 200-plus creditors.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.