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Manitou takes ATN

Manitou has purchased the intellectual property of French aerial lift manufacturer ATN Platforms from the administrator, CBF Associés which was appointed earlier this year. See: Manufacturer ATN for sale. No details of the transaction have been disclosed.
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The company announcement said that it: “Had acquired in the framework of a judicial recovery procedure before the Commercial Court of Agen, all of the intellectual property of ATN Platforms.” Referring to the ATN’s main product line - mast booms. It added: “The purchase extends Manitou’s existing product range in order to accelerate development in a particularly fast moving market. The experience acquired by ATN Platforms in this niche underpins the group's decision.”

Chief executive Michel Denis added: “This is an opportunity for growth for Manitou, our two platform production sites in Candé (Maine-et-Loire) will assemble the vertical platform models that are the result of the expertise of ATN Platforms, in order to offer our customers an even wider choice of aerial work platform solutions."

Manitou will also employ around a dozen ATN employees, who will continue to be based in the Tonneins area - the home town of both ATN and JLG’s French production facility - in order to benefit from their expertise. Most of ATN’s revenues came from its mast boom product line which includes both wheeled and track mounted models, although it also has a boom lift, spider and Rough Terrain scissor lift in its product line up.
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Vertikal Comment

This is somewhat of a surprise in that Manitou already has a three model mast boom line up, which has been recently updated and is well thought of. One of the reasons that ATN has failed twice is that margins on mast booms are notoriously poor, some might say hideous. ATN will however, add a few niche models to Manitou’s mast boom line up, including a 12 metre model and some tracked units.

The volume market for this product began in France with Delta Systeme’s and its Toucan lift, designed by Delta and ATN founder Daniel Duclos - also of rental company Accès Industrie. He sold Delta to Grove which then sold it to JLG in 2004. Duclos then started ATN to feed his growing rental company. Today the mast boom market is dominated by JLG and Haulotte which also acquired niche mast boom lift manufacturer ABM. Manitou is also a significant player, while Snorkel also participates, the fast growing entrant is probably Chinese manufacturer Dingli.

The market outside of France has been growing steadily helped along by the Chinese moving in, but it is hard to see mast booms as a “particularly fast moving market”, but we may well be missing something.

An interesting move.