The world’s fourth largest crane company has gobbled up a significant local outfit in the latest acquisition impacting the construction industry in Australia.

In a statement released on Wednesday night (Australia time), UK-based ALE said it had acquired the majority of shares in privately held Gladstone based ECR Group for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition comes two years after the two companies formed a Brisbane-based joint venture in 2012 targeting the heavy lifting market. That joint venture secured its first project involving the load-in and transport of pre-assembled modules on the Australia Pacific LNG Project soon thereafter and has since completed project in Melbourne, Gladstone, Port Kembla and Groote Eylandt off the Northern Territory coast and opened offices in Perth and Darwin.

In a statement, ALE said the acquisition would build on the gains through the JV and would provide a platform for the Group to widen its offering throughout the region.

“We are pleased to be joining forces officially under one name, since 2012 the joint venture between ALE and ECR has been incredibly successful, the businesses complement each other which is why we have decided to make this acquisition,” ALE managing director Paul Kelly said. “The merger will ensure that the success and amalgamation of skills gained through the joint venture will be retained and the incredible breadth of services offered will continue and grow in the future.”

Founded in 1983, Staffordshire based ALE is ranked by international construction news outfit KHL as the fourth-largest crane company in the world behind Mammoet (the Netherlands), Sarens (Belgium) and Lampson International (US) and has offices in 30 countries.

The Group claims its 42,780-ton lift of the Arkutun Dagi topside in Korea is the heaviest load ever jacked.

ECR, meanwhile (formerly Eagle, Cranes and Rigging), was established in 1995 and supplies heavy lifting cranes and machinery, heavy haulage vehicles and cranes.