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Manitex agrees to operate CVS Ferrari in Italy

Thursday, 8 Jul 2010 ( #469 ) - Bridgeview, IL, United States
News Story
Manitex International Inc has gained a European foothold, some complementary products and an experienced work force in agreeing to operate the CVS Ferrari SpA container handling business.

"For Manitex, the operating agreement is strategically significant, providing a European base for a US company," says Andrew Rooke, Manitex president and chief operating officer. "We have been US-centric although, in the last two years, we have reached into the international distribution markets."

On 30 June, Manitex disclosed formation of a new subsidiary, CVS Ferrari Srl. The entity has entered into an agreement with the Ferrari family to operate the business in Rovoleti di Cadeo, Italy on an exclusive rental basis, effective from 1 July. Terms were not disclosed.

Manitex has named industry veteran Stefani Mercati as general manager of CVS Ferrari Srl. Mercati is new both to Manitex and CVS.

"We are aware the container handling business has grown significantly - except for 2009 — and that the outlook for the market is positive," Rooke notes.

Earlier in 2010, CVS Ferrari SpA applied for protection from creditors under provisions of the Italian concordato preventivo process now pending in court. Manitex intends to rent the CVS operations and eventually acquire the business after conclusion of the insolvency process and the approval of CVS creditors. The rental period could continue for up to two years.

"We will build the business from scratch," Rooke says. Because of the legal proceedings, "essentially, we will hire a new organisation" recognising the need to balance production with demand in the marketplace. CVS Ferrari SpA has employed about 130 staff.

CVS had 2008 sales of USD101.2 million (EUR71.8 million) but experienced lower 2009 sales as a result of the economic turndown.

As of the agreement date, CVS had a backlog of orders of approximately USD10 million (EUR8.2 million) for delivery during 2010.

Traditionally, half of CVS sales have occurred in Europe with the remainder elsewhere.

CVS Ferrari manufactures straight mast forklifts with certain models larger than those Manitex makes. "Mostly, we are complementary with similar technologies and similar businesses in lifting equipment," Rooke says.

Among those on the Manitex corporate staff is Elvio Simonetti, the firm’s international business development manager since early 2010, with previous CVS Ferrari experience.

Manitex builds boom cranes and sign cranes in Georgetown, Texas; rough-terrain forklifts, special mission-oriented vehicles and specialised carriers in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada; specialised rough-terrain cranes and materials handling products in Winona, Minnesota; custom trailers and equipment hauling systems in Elk Point, South Dakota; and indoor forklifts in Bridgeview. Also, the company operates its crane distribution business and has executive offices in the Bridgeview facility. Brand names include Liftking, Noble, Lowry, Schaeff, Badger and Load King.

Manitex’s predecessor firm was founded in 1993 and was acquired by Veri-Tek International Corp in 2003. The name was changed to Manitex in May 2008.

Publicly traded Manitex reported profit of USD3.6 million on 2009 sales of USD55.9 million.
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