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U-RENT SOLD BY FAMILY : SAM'S OPENED IN 1935.

Byline: Deborah Adamson Daily News Staff Writer

After 62 years of business, Sam's-U-Rent of Van Nuys is being sold to a rival equipment rental company in Orange County for an undisclosed price.

Sam's-U-Rent, which has been owned by the same family since Sam Greenberg founded it as Sam's-U-Drive in 1935, will be taken over by Able Equipment Rental of Buena Park.

The combined company will be called Able Equipment with seven rental lots - the Sam's locations in North Hollywood, Van Nuys and West Los Angeles and the Able sites in Buena Park, Mira Loma, Riverside and Santa Fe Springs. In time, the Sam's-U-Rent locations will be renamed Able Equipment.

Officials said the merger will help the long-term viability of the operations.

``To be successful, it's important to grow and get the number of branches up,'' said Steve Greenberg, president of Sam's-U-Rent and son of the founder. ``We looked very hard to find a merger partner we liked.''

Sales declined during the recession from about $11.5 million annually to $8.5 million in 1993. Revenues have been basically flat since then, Greenberg said.

Butler said the combination expands each company's market niche. ``Sam's has always been more of a homeowners equipment rental company and we serve the construction industry,'' he said.

Sam's rentals include lawn and garden equipment, movie trucks and trailers. Able rents out forklifts, air compressors and the like.

Almost all of Sam's 85 employees have been retained. The combined company will have 185 workers, Butler said.

The company will be run by Butler, who retains the title of president.

Steve Greenberg will be a consultant to the business. He has lived in Phoenix for the last two and a half years and has been running a property development firm with sites in California and Arizona.

Founder Sam Greenberg came to the San Fernando Valley in 1911 with his family in a covered wagon from Norwalk to Van Nuys. A graduate of Van Nuys High School, he became a well-known philanthropist and political figure in addition to running the business.

Sam Greenberg received the 1990 Fernando Award for community service. He is particularly known for donating $450,000 to the San Fernando Association for the Retarded to build a $1 million cafeteria used in job training for developmentally disabled people.

The founder, who died in 1991, also served on the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. He had been the board's longest-serving member.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 2, 1997
Words:405
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