News story

Konecranes closes factory, finalises acquisition

Thursday, 19 November 2009 ( #437 ) - Hyvinkää, Finland
About 18 workers are likely to lose their jobs when Konecranes closes its crane production and assembly facility in Birmingham, Alabama in the US by the end of 2009.

Konecranes says in a statement the closure is part of previously announced plans to restructure its organisation and cut costs in response to declining demand.

It is part of other restructuring efforts that are expected to save the group EUR100 million (USD149.7 million) in 2010 compared to 2008. About EUR17-22 million (USD25.4-32.9 million) in restructuring costs will be booked for 2009.

Konecranes spokesman Mikael Wegmüller says current and future customer orders will be serviced by other Konecranes facilities in the US. The Birmingham facility is a fabrication and assembly plant that produces industrial cranes mainly for southern US.

Separately, Konecranes has finalised its acquisition of a majority holding in Jiangsu Three Horses Crane Manufacture Co Ltd (SANMA), a hoist and crane manufacturer in China.

Konecranes now owns 65% of SANMA, while the remaining shares are held by company's former owners, who continue working in management. SANMA is now a joint-venture company.

In SANMA's first board meeting under its new ownership, Gu Ning Sheng, one of SANMA's former owners, was appointed the company managing director.

SANMA is based in Jingjiang, about two hours' drive northwest of Shanghai. The company's net sales were about EUR18 million (USD26.9 million) in 2008 and it has over 500 employees.

Ryan Flynn, Konecranes president for Northeast Asia says the acquisition enables Konecranes to penetrate the hoist and crane segment in China that is dominated by local suppliers.
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