Investment firm Apollo Global Management has signed a deal to acquire Maxim Crane Works and AmQuip Crane Rental, two of the largest crane-rental firms in the U.S. Both would be operated as part of a combined organization. Financial terms of the transactions, announced May 2, were not disclosed.

The resulting merger will form what Apollo described as “a premier lifting-solutions provider,” boasting a crane-rental fleet approaching 2,000 units. The deal also would significantly raise the profile of crane firms in the rental sector.

“The combining of Maxim and AmQuip is the biggest merger … in the history of the crane-rental industry and is one of the largest in the history of the equipment-rental industry,” says Michael Roth, editor-in-chief of business news publication Rental Equipment Register.

Further, the two firms combined would result in the fourth-largest equipment-rental company in North America, competing with multi-product national juggernauts such as United, Sunbelt and Hertz, well beyond the range of other dedicated crane-rental firms, Roth adds.

Maxim, based in Bridgeville, Pa., ranked No. 12 in RER’s top rental firms of 2014, reporting annual rental volume of $305 million. Founded in 1966, the firm’s 1,400-unit crane fleet serves more than 7,500 customers in 31 branches across the U.S.

AmQuip, based in Trevose, Pa., ranked No. 31 with annual rental volume of $78 million. Founded in 1967, its fleet of 550 units services more than 6,600 users in 13 branches across 36 states.

Maxim Chief Executive Officer Bryan Carlisle, who is expected to serve as CEO of the combined organization, notes in a statement that “AmQuip and Maxim share similar cultures and values relating to people, safety and the desire to serve the industry.” The combined team will provide “an enhanced level of service, expertise, equipment and geographic coverage,” he adds. Al Bove would continue to run the AmQuip operation.