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Socage acquires Manotti

Italian truck mounted lift manufacturer Socage has acquired Manotti Autogru as a going concern.

The deal for the struggling crane and platform manufacturer was apparently done at the end of December, and sees Socage taking on all 60 Manotti employees. Manotti has been in trouble for many years and had not managed to pay salaries for several months. It had surprisingly managed revenues of €13 million last year – apparently – and has an order book of €7 million.

Family owned Manotti is based in Boretto, Emilia Romagna and was founded by Dante Manotti in September 1979, working from his garage as a small fabrication subcontractor to local manufacuters. In 1983 Manotti’s three sons joined the business, and began designing and building its own lifting products. It also operated under the PC Produzioni name for Platforms and Crane production. Products included truck mounted lifts to 28 metres, a 35 tonne truck crane and since 2009 a range of four Rough Terrain models from 35 to 85 tonnes capacity. See new crane company unveils RT
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Socage owner and chief executive Fiorenzo Flisi said: “When this opportunity presented itself to me we immediately decided to replace the Manotti family as owners. We were keen to move ahead with the acquisition of this company for two reasons: first, for the company’s position in the mobile crane market, with growing prospects especially abroad. Secondly, for the possibility to consolidate our company’s different operations into a unique production facility, with the obvious cost savings and production efficiencies that it brings.

Marco Begnozzi, a representative of the metal workers trade union Fiom-CGIL added “Now with this new ownership the 60 workers can take a sigh of relief, as the new owners have promised to maintain all jobs and it has undertaken the settlement of all back pay. I am very happy for the rescue of this company which is a very important institution in this area.”

Vertikal Comment

This is probably a good move for Socage, it gives it a spacious production facility and some products and a range of Rough Terrain cranes that have sold relatively well in the Middle East, North Africa and even in France. The truck mounted lifts are not likely to be of great interest given the Socage range, but the additional fabrication capability and experience will be an asset.

Manotti never really managed to make the transition from fabricator to equipment manufacturer. At least this move saves the jobs of its employees and should create a stronger company overall.