Rain for Rent Owners Weigh Sale Worth $1 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- Rain for Rent, a closely-held provider of drainage pumps, water tanks and other equipment for handling liquids, is considering a sale that could value the company at about $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bakersfield, California-based company has held talks with advisers about evaluating strategic options including a sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Rain is likely to draw interest from private equity firms and rival corporations, they said.

No decision has been made and the company could remain independent, they said.

A spokesman for Rain declined to comment.

It is owned by the family of founder Charles P. Lake, who started the business in 1934.

The company, run by Chief Executive Officer John Lake, was originally a provider of irrigation equipment to farmers. Today, it rents and sells a variety of products for assisting with flood relief, construction site drainage, sewer bypasses and industrial plant turnarounds, according to its website.

It has 65 locations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

More family-owned businesses are changing hands as baby boomers retire, according to Howard Krieger, a managing director at business services firm CBIZ Inc.

"You also have a favorable environment for acquisitions, with an economy that has been juiced by the tax law," he said in an interview.

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