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Dingli acquires stake in MEC

China’s leading aerial work platform manufacturer Dingli Machinery has announced plans to invest $20 million to acquire a 25 percent stake in aerial lift manufacturer MEC - California Manufacturing & Engineering Company.

The information came in a brief announcement to the Shanghai stock market which also said: “The investment fits into the company's business strategy to expand in the USA.” The company is buying 625,000 shares in the company, which manufactures scissor and boom lifts, and already sells a bespoke version of Dingli’s smaller slab scissor lifts under its own brand – mostly in North America but also for export.
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A Dingli built MEC 1330SE

The transaction is subject to the normal closing and approvals and is expected to be completed early in the new year.

The move follows closely on the heels of the Chinese company issuing 14.4 million new shares, raising 880 million yuan ($133 million) through a private placement, which dilutes founder and chief executive Xu Shugen’s holding from 51.7 to 47.5 percent.
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A brief history of MEC

The original MEC company was established in the late 1970s, based in Mayville, Wisconsin, and was a pioneer of ultra compact scissor and push around lifts. It was also the originator of the automatic pothole protection systems which are now in global use, and ultra compact 'elevator' scissor lifts. The company was also known for its model names, such as the Hefty Herman.

At the tail end of the 1990s Mayville made the decision to cease production of the MEC aerial lifts, when the market collapsed at the same time as its other business - manufacturing metal boxes and enclosures for computers etc - .was booming.

In 2002 Fresno, California based aftermarket parts company Equipment Parts Wholesale acquired the name, design rights, manufacturing fixtures and parts supply rights for MEC aerial lifts, forming CMEC in 2004 to build updated versions of Mec scissor lifts. Since then it has added a range of new products, including electric Rough Terrain scissor lifts, and the unique Titan boom.

In the past couple of years it has been badging a version of the Dingli slab electric scissor lifts, that incorporates some of the specific Mec design features.

Vertikal Comment

This is a very interesting and logical move on the part of Dingli, and follows its 20 percent investment in Magni in February 2016. The US investment could be even more important strategically if president Trump moves ahead with his threat to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports next year. The company is also acquiring some strong brand names that it can build upon – and amazingly both Magni and Mec have very similar red livery. Red is of course symbolises good fortune and happiness in China.

This looks like another astute move on the part of Dingli.