Volvo AB Considering Sale of Volvo Rents

Volvo AB is exploring the sale of Volvo Rents, its North American construction-equipment rental business, according to two people familiar with the process.

The division, known as Volvo Rents, may be worth $1 billion to $1.5 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. No final decision to sell has been made, the person said. Kina Wileke, a spokeswoman at Volvo, declined to comment.

The business has attracted interest from private-equity firms as well as companies, said the person. Volvo Rents operates more than 130 rental stores in North America and offers equipment for construction, commercial and industrial markets, according to its website.

The Swedish company is exploring a sale of the rental unit as it shifts its focus to profitability from sales growth. In 2011, Volvo said it aims for operating margins at the top of the heavy-equipment industry. The company is also exiting peripheral businesses, and in July agreed to sell its aircraft-engine unit Volvo Aero to GKN Plc (GKN) for 633 million pounds ($954 million).

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