A new partnership between MES Cranes and venture capital company Open Window Growth Partners has resulted in the establishment of southern Africa’s most innovative, customer-focused tower crane company – a true market leader.
“This is an incredibly exciting happening. Development in Africa is poised to take off, with rapid urbanisation and industrialisation sparking the need for high density development and improved infrastructure,” MES’s Ferdi van Niekerk, says.
The company’s Walter Baur agrees. “These industries will receive a massive boost, and the partnership ensures that MES is ready to supply the relevant resources to clients throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”
MES is able to provide an end-to-end solution tailor-made for each client’s unique project – important, because the company places heavy emphasis on offering the flexibility to answer any client need, while providing outstanding client service.
The offering further encompasses establishment, disestablishment, servicing, transporting, storing and maintaining cranes (including complete refurbishment) which is extended to client’s own fleets. This outsourced model offers many benefits to clients, saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on overheads, while improving efficiencies and enabling them to focus on their core business.
MES’s new 40 000m² premises
MES’s new 40 000m² premises in Kempton Park, a recent acquisition, is a major asset for its customer base and entrenches their market leading position. A facility unequalled in South Africa, these centrally located headquarters provides significant space for storing and servicing their large fleet, as well as those of clients.
The facility includes 8 000m² of workshop space, where cranes may be serviced, repaired, modified or reconditioned. The remaining 32 000m² area serves as a home for their fleet of heavy equipment trucks and is serviced by five yard cranes.
MES also boasts its own sizeable fleet of 146 tower cranes, mobile cranes and a fleet of heavy equipment trucks. One of the company’s greatest assets is its dedicated, knowledgeable team, which comprises a leadership team with more than 250 years’ collective industry experience, and is supported by a team of loyal staff members who have an excellent track record in terms f safety and skill.
The leadership team, in particular, stands out for its singular mix of veteran industry experience, energy and vision. This is thanks to the presence of Walter Baur, a German engineer, who purchased the company in 1986, and Hermann Fender, a mechanical engineer who joined the company in 1998.
Baur enjoyed a long-standing career in the industry prior to purchasing the company, having worked at Liebherr first in the design office and then heading sales agencies in southern Africa.
He identified the potential of a crane rental model at a time when most companies were involved in selling, configuring and dismantling the machines. It was on this premise that he built MES into one of the industry’s most significant players. Both men have made a noteworthy contribution to the company’s growth while amassing a keen understanding of the industry’s needs and dynamics.
Baur and Fender have now been joined by new directors, Ferdi van Niekerk, along with finance specialist Glen Dowie. Each brings a fresh perspective to the company, which will ensure it is ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities emerging out of this exciting stage of Africa’s development.
“We are both pleased and proud to see MES enter this new phase of development. We believe that this is the company that Africa needs right now, and we are thrilled to be able to offer our services to sub-Saharan companies that require a partner with a flexible, holistic focus. We are delighted that our tower cranes will be playing a part in building Africa’s future,” Baur concludes.