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Manitowoc buys Grove

Manitowoc has reached an agreement to buy Grove for approximately US$270 million. The deal was announced the evening before the Conexpo show started in Las Vegas and was signed at 15.20 on Monday March 18th. It was greeted with amazement and a host of questions by visitors to the Grove and Manitowoc stands the following day.
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John Wheeler, president of Grove Crane, Rob Giebel, president of the Manitowoc Crane Group, Jeff Bust, president of Grove Worldwide.

“Grove enhances our market-leading positions, represents a strong growth opportunity for our crane segment, and fills a product void by adding mobile cranes to our product offering. Equally important, we now can provide equipment and lifting solutions for virtually any construction application.” said Terry D. Growcock, Manitowoc’s president and chief executive officer. “The addition of Grove confirms Manitowoc as the leading producer of lifting equipment world-wide.”

The deal will be funded by a combination of cash and approximately two million shares of Manitowoc common stock based on current market prices. In the transaction, Manitowoc will issue shares of common stock to Grove shareholders and will “assume or retire” all of Grove's existing debt.

The agreement is still subject to regulatory approval, but is expected to take 45 to 90 days to close, Growcock said. One possible area of concern for the US regulators is the the overlap between Grove’s National Cranes and Manitowoc’s loader crane production. Both products are virtually unknown outside North America, but may concern anti-competition regulators. This could be solved by the sale of one of the units.

Rob Giebel, president of Manitowoc’s crane divison, told Kran & Bühne that Grove’s Wilhelmshaven facility is “a key element of the deal” and that he had heard “nothing but positive comments about the factory”. Less clear was how sales operations may be affected in the long term with Giebel saying this was an area that would be looked at in detail. He added that Grove’s Manlift operation should fit well with Potain’s Liftlux activities but would make no further comment

* Manitowoc bought Potain a year ago for US$300 million and has been following a policy of rationalising and streamlining dealer networks around the world. In Germany Manitowoc Cranes is now represented by Potain GmbH. Liftlux belongs to Potain and recently bought TDK, a small German manufacturer of powered access equipment. Grove also owns Delta in France. The total workforce of the new company is about 5000 people.

Manitowoc buys Potain (PDF file)