23.08.2019

Steve Filipov to head Manitex

US based crane and aerial lift manufacturing group Manitex International has appointed Steve Filipov as chief executive. Current chief executive David Langevin becomes executive chairman and will continue to be involved on a full time basis with the business, in particular strategic planning, corporate finance and key relationships with strategic and investment partners.

The appointments will be effective from the start of September.

Filipov has spent his entire career in the crane business, having joined Terex in 1993. He announced his departure from Terex at the start of August when Tadano’s acquisition of the Demag crane business was completed. See Steve Filipov leaves Terex
Steve Filipov


David Langevin said: “I have had the privilege to lead our company since 2003, and since then we have established Manitex as a market share leader in straight-mast boom trucks here in North America. Our 2015 acquisition of PM articulating cranes created a great opportunity to become an international player in a market many times the size of our North American market. We are most fortunate to be able to attract Steve to our Company and we believe that Steve's significant international crane experience will stimulate the PM business to a much higher performance in this substantial market. Our entire board and strategic partners are all excited to have Steve join us and we look forward to planning and executing our future growth strategy under his stewardship.”

Filipov added: “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the team here at Manitex International. It is our number one objective to accelerate the transformation of the PM knuckle boom business into an efficient and world-class operation, with industry-leading global production and distribution capabilities. I believe that my substantial international experience in the crane industry will be a valuable asset in the development of the PM business. I have known the team at Manitex for many years and am confident that we will be able to build on their substantial progress, working together towards the successful execution of our business objectives right from the beginning. Furthermore, I intend to make a personal investment in Manitex shares in the near term to better align my economic interests with those of other Manitex shareholders.”

Vertikal Comment

This is an interesting move for both Manitex and Steve Filipov. Manitex has had its ups and downs as it expanded rapidly from a leading American centric boom truck manufacturer to a more global business with a wide range of cranes, aerial work platforms and well known brands. At times it appeared to have overstepped the mark, having seemed to be unable to turn down what looked like a bargain at the time, taking it into the port equipment business when it acquired Italian headquartered https://vertikal.net/en/news/story/12301/manitex-wins-approval-to-acquire-cvs-ferrari](CVS Ferrari in 2010/11 - rescuing it from bankruptcy) and offloading it in 2016 ASV tracked loaders in 2014,and Load King in 2010 both from Terex.

On the other hand it has allowed many of its more promising brands to languish at times. It owns Italian pick & carry crane manufacturer Valla which has done better under its stewardship, but nowhere near what it could do if given the resources and global expertise. The same could be said about PM loader cranes and Oil & Steel aerial work platforms - however in the past year or two this has been changing with all three businesses showing promising signs of growth as more has been invested in brand building and distribution.

Filipov does have a great deal of experience in managing crane and access businesses with a range of famous brand names - Terex ‘wrote the book’ on this - he also has a great deal of experience managing Italian crane companies and working within a multinational group. He is also a true ‘transnational’ being an American that has probably spent more of his life living in Europe. On this basis it is hard to see anyone more qualified for the role. He might be less experienced in the tougher public company management and investor side and has participated in numerous presentations to analysts and investors and in quarterly conference calls during his years with Terex, but he always seems most at home when selling cranes and closing deals. While this could be an major additional asset for Manitex, he probably needs to focus more on strategy and in assisting and mentoring the companies within the group to achieve their best.

The new job is abundant with opportunity and provides him with a step up to a new bigger role in the global crane industry and looks like a great move for Manitex. Interesting to note that Tadano owns a 14.9 percent stake in Manitex, which it purchased last May, and Filipov has just left Terex after Tadano acquired the Demag crane business.

One last point - as ultimate head of loader crane manufacturer PM he will be competing head to head with his father Fil Filipov, who owns Atlas Cranes.

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