The crane game has been fruitful for Cranecorp.

Cranecorp extends reach in tight sector

Wednesday, 27 June, 2018 - 19:59

Several acquisitions in the past four years have helped Cranecorp Australia grow into new markets, but the company’s owners still make themselves available to clients to give relationships a personal touch.

Rick Musarra established Goldfields Crane Hire in 1994, and took Craig O’Donnell on board as a business partner in 2005.

After conquering the Goldfields market, the business moved into the state’s north-west, the Northern Territory and Perth, under the name Cranecorp Australia.

That expansion came as the resources construction market suffered a downturn.

Nonetheless, Cranecorp estimates its turnover grew around 68 per cent in the past four financial years, while it is aiming for a further doubling in the next five years.

Acquisitions played a big role in the growth.

The business has made more than $10 million in acquisitions in the past four years, buying Geraldton company MRM Crane Hire in 2014 and assets from Canning Vale-based Force Cranes in 2018.

The largest was the purchase of assets from Port Hedland business Gravity Cranes in 2017, with Cranecorp now operating a fleet of 44 cranes.

There were lessons to be learned from the buying spree, however, with multiple acquisitions a distraction from the business, according to chief executive Rod White.

Mr White said getting investments right was a balancing act.

“The crane industry is capital intensive and competitive, with growth and investment delicately timed, dealing with cyclical peaks and troughs,” Mr White told Business News.

“Investing too early weighs down a business with higher overheads.

“Invest too late and business can struggle executing as resources become stretched and unable to execute improvement initiatives.”

One big change over recent years has been professionalising management and improved governance with creation of a board.

Looking ahead, a potential initial public offer is on the agenda.

Cranecorp also contributes to the community, sponsoring the Goldfields Country Speedway and Kalgoorlie Ronald McDonald Community Ball, among other events.