JLG to acquire Hinowa

Oshkosh is to acquire Italian spider lift manufacturer Hinowa from the Fracca family, once completed Hinowa will become part of the Oshkosh Access Equipment division - JLG. Details of the transaction have not yet been disclosed, but it is expected to complete within 90 days.

Hinowa Is based in Nogara, - due south of Verona, Italy - and was established by Dante Fracca in 1987. It has become the world’s leading manufacturer of spider lifts as well as building a range or other track mounted equipment such as dumpers and tracked carriers. It operates from a 23,000 square metre manufacturing facility and also has a 5,000 square metre parts facility and employs around 230.

Hinowa has been working with JLG since 2010 when it began producing JLG branded versions of its spider lifts for sale through JLG distributors and dealers. It was also a pioneer of lithium ion battery power for aerial work platforms, launching its first model in 2009. More recently it began building JLG lithium ion articulated boom lifts for the company.

Oshkosh chief executive John Pfeifer said: “We look forward to welcoming the Hinowa team into the Oshkosh family. This acquisition will accelerate our electrification capabilities and provide growth opportunities across core and adjacent markets.”

JLG president Frank Nerenhausen added: “We are excited to expand our long term relationship with Hinowa. Combining our capabilities will enable us to better serve customers and expand our operational footprint in Europe.”

Dante Fracca said: “We are pleased to join Oshkosh, our successful 12 year relationship with JLG, along with shared core values around culture, safety, productivity and sustainability position us well for the future.”

Vertikal Comment

This was a surprise and yet not a complete surprise, it has been on the cards for some time given the long term relationship between the companies which stepped up a notch last year when Hinowa began building JLG boom lifts, as well a few small clues in recent months. However, it still brings together two quite different cultures and the challenge for JLG is to retain that culture within the Oshkosh publicly quoted corporate structure - especially as we enter uncertain economic times.

One must assume that this is a good deal for the Fracca family financially, and in its favour is the fact that the management of both companies know each other very well and should have no illusions as to what they are both getting into. JLG will be best served by leaving Hinowa to operate as a standalone company within the JLG/access division, in order to preserve its unique culture.

To get an idea of how it might pan out however, one can look towards Power Towers which JLG acquired in 2015 and operated as a standalone business for almost four years, before starting to integrate and JLG-ise it.

So good deal, bad deal or neutral?

Assuming the Fracca family are happy with the deal, then it is all down to JLG, and one thing is for sure it is acquiring an excellent and innovative quality company with good people and strong potential for further growth and product innovation. However, it would also not surprise us at all if competitors such as CMC, Easylift and others do not look at this transaction and rub their hands in anticipation.


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