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United Rentals Discusses Sale; CEO to Retire

Wed April 11, 2007 - National Edition
Jeff Cronin



United Rentals Inc. has entered an era of change.

Its board of directors April 10 began discussions of the future of the company, including its possible sale, just as the company prepares for the retirement of CEO Wayland R. Hicks.

Spokeswoman Nicole Salas said the events are unrelated.

She said the board has decided to investigate a sale because “the market constantly undervalues the company” and is exploring options to “maximize shareholder value.”

United Rentals has retained UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse to act as financial advisors in the process. The company said there is a chance the investigation will not necessarily result in a transaction. Salas could not say if the board was exploring other alternatives and was unaware of any timeline for a decision.

Hicks, who started at the company in 1998 as president and COO, will retire June 4 at the annual shareholders’ meeting. Michael J. Kneeland, who currently serves as executive vice president and COO, will succeed him as interim CEO.

“We deeply appreciate Wayland’s significant contributions over the past decade and the leadership he has demonstrated,” said Chairman Bradley S. Jacobs. “We are fortunate that Wayland will continue to serve on our board and offer his insights as we take this process forward.”

Kneeland has been at the company since 1998. He has more than 25 years of experience in the equipment rental industry.

Headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., the company said it is the largest equipment rental company in the world. It has nearly 700 rental locations throughout North America and employs approximately 12,000 people. CEG