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Manlift to drop all boom and scissor production

Manitowoc Crane Group has announced plans to restructure its Manlift aerial work platform businesses, in order to focus solely on its Toucan vertical mast product range.

The restructuring plan includes:

- The discontinuatuion of all US Manlift production at the company's Shady Grove, Pennsylvania facility;

- The discontinuation of the scissor and boom lift product segments in Europe, and the closure of the Liftlux facility in Dillingen, Germany;

- The development of the Toucan vertical mast boom product range, which is produced in France and marketed under the Manlift brand and Toucan product name throughout Europe;

- The continuation of a parts and service support network for the discontinued product lines through Manitowoc Crane Care.

The plan was presented to works council representatives in Europe today who are currently reviewing the plan.

This announcement brings an end to 24 years of participation in the powered access market by Grove, and is the end of the line for three original access companies, Selma-Manlift, Liftlux and TKD.

The Manlift product range was an amalgamation of Selma Manlift, which became Grove Manlift after its purchase by Grove in 1979, Delta Systeme, the originator of the Toucan product range acquired by Grove in the mid 90s, TKD, the European straight boom producer and Liftlux, the large scissor company both of which were acquired by Potain prior to its take over by Manitowoc.

The move will also have an impact on several market segments, the most significant being on large heavy duty scissors lifts, where Holland Lift provides the only competiton. The latest feedback suggests that the Liftlux plant will in fact close some time in January

Impact on Manitowoc Year end results.

The LIFTLUX and North American MANLIFT businesses are likely to generate a combined loss from operations for 2003 of approximately $4.5 million ($0.12 per share). This deficit will now be reported by Manitowoc as a “loss from discontinued operations” for the year ended December 31, 2003.

Discontinued operations will also reflect special provisions for withdrawal from the Manlift boom and scissor business of approximately $14 million ($0.34 per share) in the fourth quarter and goodwill impairment of $4.9 million ($0.18 per share) already taken in the third quarter.

The company’s forecast for its 2003 earnings, excluding special items, remains unchanged at $0.70 to $0.75 per share, or at breakeven to $0.10 with the special charges.

Special charges were already forecast to be around $0.50 per share. They will now increase to between $0.65 to $0.70 per share, but the company claims that the $0.34 per share charge associated with the AWP restructuring will be largely offset by a gain resulting from the amendment of post-retirement medical plan terms.


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