Maverick equipment magnate Don F. Ahern is sitting on top of the world compared to two years ago, when his eponymous Las Vegas-based rental company was mired in debt, plunged into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and facing a hostile creditor takeover bid by billionaire investor Tom Gores, whose Platinum Equity LLC owns Maxim Crane Works and NESCO.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has named as its interim CEO, Brian P. MacDonald, who now is chief of the rental company’s construction-equipment unit. He replaces Mark Frissora who it said resigned on Sept. 8 for “personal reasons.”The company had announced earlier this year that it would spin off Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. into a separate $2.5-billion public company by early 2015. However, accounting errors—acknowledged but not disclosed in detail by the company—that have held up reporting of its 2014 results “could definitely delay the spin-off,” says Nicholas Coppola, a senior equity analyst with Thompson Research Group.The divestiture was set to
Helix Electric Nevada Inc., a Las Vegas-based turnkey electrical contractor, has quietly become an industry giant with a 400-employee work force and $83 million in revenue last year. The company anticipates 10% growth in 2014 due to a recovering economy and demand for solar power and multifamily housing. Helix attributes its success to a combination of business diversity, strong customer service and employee training, and little turnover. “Roughly 70% of our revenue comes from repeat business by approaching client issues as partners and problem solvers,” says Victor Fuchs, company president. “We supported many of our clients during the recession, and
Neff Corp. Company executives believe that Neff's focus on earthmoving equipment positions it to capitalize upon future growth. Related Links: Why Contractors Are Renting More and Buying Less Are Equipment Rentals Cyclical or Secular? Neff Corp. has filed an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission for a target goal of raising $100 million. The 25-year-old, Miami-based company, which rents, leases and sells construction equipment through 64 branches across 15 states, filed the IPO on Sept. 3.Company executives believe that Neff's focus on earthmoving equipment positions it to capitalize upon future growth, says the IPO prospectus, which also says an industry
Image Courtesy of Tesla Motors Inc. The plant, to be built on a 600-acre site, is slated to be open by 2017. The Sept. 4 revelation that northern Nevada is the site for Tesla Motors' planned $5-billion lithium-ion-battery "gigafactory" sets the stage for what is likely to be a sharp drop in the cost of such batteries over the next few years, as market forces come to bear.The electric vehicles built by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla Motors Inc. are powered by batteries composed of thousands of the small, cylindrical, lithium-ion 18650 commodity cells such as those commonly found in
HOK photo Bill Hellmuth has been president of the St. Louis design firm since 2004. Related Links: HOK Gets Back Into the Sports Design Field by Acquiring 360 Architecture William Hellmuth, 61, has been president of St. Louis design firm HOK since 2004. An architect, he is the nephew of co-founder George Hellmuth, for whom the firm was named, along with partners Gyo Obata and George Kassabaum. Today, HOK has 1,600 employees in 23 offices on four continents. The firm is responsible for the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, the Tokyo Telecom Center and the National
Related Links: John R. Forrester--Obituary notice Link to Photo of Rick Forrester With Brothers, Fellow Execs, at Forrester Construction ENR: D.C. Cuts Forrester Payment by $1M Over MBE Joint Venture ForresterJohn R. “Rick” Forrester, founder and principal of Forrester Construction Co. Inc., Rockville, Md., died on Aug. 29 in an undisclosed Virginia location. The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, a spokesman for the state Medical Examiner confirmed to ENR. Forrester was 55.A memorial service for him is set for Friday, Oct. 10, at 4:00pm at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda,
Related Links: Holabird & Root obituary on Gerald Horn HornGerald A. Horn, 79, a prominent Chicago architect, died on Aug. 9 of cancer. He was a partner at architecture firm Holabird & Root from 1988 to 2004, managing numerous designs, including the Illinois Bell Telephone building, which won an American Institute of Architects national design award in 1974.Other noteworthy designs include those for the the Chicago Historical Society expansion, Federal Reserve Bank Building addition and Northwestern University Law School.Horn also was a longtime educator at the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture.He studied under mid-century modernist architect Craig Ellwood
Related Links: New Minnesota Contractor Rules Put Squeeze on Worker Misclassifiers Link to Report: Sinking Underground-The Growing Informal Economy in California Construction California lost more than $774.9 million in state taxes, benefits and fees in 2011 due to construction worker misclassifications and undocumented activity, says a new study by a Los Angeles nonprofit research group that was underwritten by the carpenters' union.The report contends that 16% of California construction jobs—in a $152-billion industry that employed 895,000 people in 2012—was work done off-the-books in 2011, and it points to similar problems nationwide.The study by the Los Angeles-based Economic Roundtable states that
Multiple contractors work around dangerous tides and typhoons to build a fast-track network of bridges, interchanges and roadways that will connect economically important islands in the East China Sea south of Shanghai.