News story

Gehl and Manitou in talks with US banks

Thursday, 4 March 2010 ( #451 ) - Ancenis, France
Hervé Saulais
Hervé Saulais
Gehl has breached covenants in its main credit agreement with US banks after lower-than-expected 2009 sales results, but the US manufacturer and its French parent Manitou are confident a solution will soon be found. Manitou executive committee secretary general Hervé Saulais tells Forkliftaction.com News that the equipment manufacturer and Gehl's lenders started discussions in January 2010 to find a long-term solution to the problem. "We are confident (of) finding an agreement with our US banks. It is too early to give details of our discussions that are very complex in nature but generally we are noticing a recovery of the US market," he says. Saulais says Gehl had taken measures to reduce its debt and it is now "much lower" than the USD105 million reported by Forkliftaction.com News in July last year (Forkliftaction.com News #417). Responding to changes in operating conditions and certain key executives' desire to change career plans, Gehl is adopting a leaner management structure, taking effect on 2 April. Daniel L Miller will replace Malcolm F Moore as president of Manitou's compact equipment division and as president and CEO of Gehl Company. Miller was vice president of Gehl's manufacturing operations. Serge Bosché will replace Dan Keyes as vice president of Gehl, sales and marketing. Bosché's position as president of Manitou North America will not be backfilled. Manitou says it expects the second half of 2010 to show improvement as natural replacement cycles restart, stimulated by new product introduction. "Things could gradually improve with the end of rental customers' defleeting programs ... 2010 is expected to show mid-to-high single-digit growth over 2009 due to revived manufacturing volumes and lowered fixed costs."