Former Pac-Van owners return to mobile office biz

May 16, 2012

Two brothers who once turned a mobile-office and storage-unit firm into one of the fastest-growing businesses in Indianapolis have re-entered the market six years after selling their company.

Brent and Matthew Claymon founded OnSite Space LLC earlier this year and immediately acquired Indianapolis-based Tyson Corp., forming OnSite Space by Tyson.

OnSite Space has assumed Tyson’s operations and moved into its headquarters at 2301 S. Holt Road on the city’s southwest side near Sam Jones Expressway.

The transaction closed in February, and now OnSite Space has applied for state incentives to help expand the company. Tyson had 20 employees when the Claymons bought it and employment has quickly grown to nearly 30 under the new ownership, Brent Claymon said. The company hopes to add another 10 employees in the near future.

OnSite Space mostly will lease and sell mobile offices for construction and development projects. But the company also plans to enter the industrial and education markets, providing temporary classrooms to growing school districts.

“I think everyone is hoping that the primary driver, the construction industry, picks up,” Brent said.

Brent, 44, and his brother Matthew, 39, are veterans of the mobile office and storage unit industry, having helped launch Pac-Van Inc. in 1993 along with another brother, Scott, and their father, William.

Pac-Van made the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies several times and ended 2005 with revenue of $51 million and 180 employees before the Claymons sold the company the following year.

California-based Mobile Office Acquisitions bought Pac-Van from the Claymons in August 2006. Nearly two years later, Mobile Office Acquisitions sold the company to General Finance Corp. of Pasadena, Calif., in a deal valued at $158.8 million.

In April 2011, Pac-Van moved its local headquarters from South Harding Street on the south side to 9155 Harrison Park Court, near North Post Road, on the far east side of Indianapolis. Pac-Van has 26 branches in 17 states.

Whether OnSite Space grows to rival Pac-Van remains to be seen. But the Claymons couldn’t resist the opportunity to dive back into the mobile office business.

“When this opportunity presented itself, it was almost tailor made for us,” Brent said. “It happened to be in our hometown and it was in an industry that we know very well.”

The Claymon brothers have stayed busy since their Pac-Van days. Scott Claymon moved to Colorado while the brothers still owned Pac-Van to pursue other interests. After the sale, Brent and Matthew made some small private-equity investments, in addition to operating Park Place Motors, their small import car dealership on Rangeline Road in Carmel.

A five-year non-compete agreement that the Claymons signed after selling Pac-Van in 2006 prevented them from returning to the mobile office industry sooner.

The industry is quite competitive and includes national players Williams Scotsman Inc. in Baltimore; Mobile Mini Inc. in Tempe, Ariz.; and Modular Space Corp. in Berwyn, Penn. All three have locations in Indianapolis.

Tyson Corp. in Indianapolis was founded in 1967 by Ray Tyson and sold in 2000 to an individual investor. The Tyson headquarters that OnSite Space purchased totals about 150,000 square feet and includes space to repair and renovate its modular units.

Brent, Matthew and Scott Claymon were honored as IBJ 40 Under 40 recipients in 1999. The three won the Indiana Heartland Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1998, and their Pac-Van company twice was recognized by the Indiana University Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (1997 and 1998).

Brent and Matthew graduated from the IU School of Business and earned their MBAs from the Butler University College of Business.


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