Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp. has invested $50 million in Sunstate Equipment Co. in a bid to expand its footprint in North America. The Phoenix-based rental company is a major supplier of construction equipment, with $227 million in annual revenue. Sumitomo, which also owns Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky., says it has been looking to expand into the rental business. “Although the U.S. construction-equipment rental industry has been experiencing a severe downturn since the financial crisis, given the long-term growth prospects of this market, Sumitomo believes this is an excellent opportunity,” says the company.