Materials Handling Online -- October 27th, 2000
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MARENGO, USA -- Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Ltd have reached an agreement on a global alliance of their forklift businesses.

The relationship is expected to widely integrate the businesses, from product development to marketing.

A statement said Nissan had been looking for an appropriate business partner to "better compete and grow in this fiercely competitive" global forklift industry.

"This alliance is the result of careful consideration and will help both companies achieve their goal of being a major player in the world markets in which they participate," the statement said.

Nissan executive vice president Hisayoshi Kojima said the forklift truck market was becoming more competitive.

"We need to compete with other top forklift makers, using synergies from this alliance," he said.

"We will continue to supply competitive, high-quality products in collaboration with MHI to satisfy our world customers, and together we can compete with the combined resources as one of the largest forklift groups in the market worldwide."

World business publications reported the two companies would jointly develop and market forklifts, including parts procurement and product development. The alliance would account for about 15% of the world market, rivalling the world's leader, Linde AG, which has a share of about 16%. NACCO Materials Handling Group is understood to have a similar share in the world market, through its Hyster and Yale brands.

Mitsubishi and Nissan will immediately start cooperative activities in the joint development of new models, and expand the cross-supply of products to strengthen each other's lines.

"This alliance is not a business transfer, merger or acquisition. It brings together both companies in a spirit of equal partners," Nissan Forklift Corporation North America president Mark Akabori said. "Current brand names and dealer networks will remain unchanged."

PORTLAND, USA -- Cascade Corporation has entered a merger agreement with an acquisition company formed by Lift Technologies Inc, manufacturer of lift truck masts, TD Capital Group Ltd, a member of the Toronto Dominion Bank Group, and the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement Board.

Under the agreement, each share of Cascade common stock will be converted into US$17.25 options. Cascade will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of a corporation formed by the acquiring group and will continue doing business under its present name.

The total value of the proposed acquisition is about US$320 million, including the assumption of outstanding debts.

James S Osterman, who chairs Cascade's special committee of the board overseeing the deal, said the merger agreement resulted from a process begun by the board in March, when the committee was appointed to evaluate a management buy-out proposal and other alternatives to "enhance value" for Cascade shareholders.

"The committee is assured that the merged company will carry forth the traditions of employee satisfaction, product innovation, and customer service that form the basis of Cascade's 57-year history of success," Mr Osterman said.

William J Harrison, founder and president of Lift Technologies, said the merger would create "an organisation combining the leading three load-handling products companies globally; Cascade Attachments, Kenhar Forks, and Lift-Tek Masts".

"Our plan is very clear; we will cause the new company to grow its market share, develop new products and services, and expand on our strong, competitive, manufacturing base," Mr Harrison said.

"In Cascade, Kenhar, and Lift-Tek, we will have the products, the facilities, the people and the determination to grow the company for the benefit of customers, employees, suppliers, and shareholders."

The merger is conditional upon regulatory and shareholder approvals and other conditions.

Cascade also announced that Greg H Kubicek would succeed C Calvert Knudsen as company chairman.

Cascade Corporation, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is an international manufacturer of lift truck attachments, forks and accessories.

The Lift Technologies Group is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of lift masts to the materials handling industry, operating from three plants in North America and two in Europe.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Siyanco Dubai Port Authority (DPA) has bought four Hyundai Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes as part of an investment program for the Jeddah South container terminal in the Red Sea.

The Gulf News reported the cranes would join 11 ship-to-shore cranes currently in use at the terminal, including a Fantuzzi-Reggiane crane commissioned this year.

The gantries are designed to handle ships carrying containers 20-wide on deck, have a maximum outreach of 55 metres, and a twin spreader capable of handling 20, 40, 45 and 48-foot containers.

Siyanco DPA is a joint venture between the Saudi Maintenance Co and the DPA. Under a 20-year management contract for the Jeddah South terminal, Siyanco DPA was required to purchase 11 cranes, but the Hyundai purchase pushes the schedule ahead by almost one year.

Siyanco DPA will also buy eight rubber-tyred gantry cranes next year, to add to seven already sourced through Samsung. The Jeddah South terminal will have 15 rubber-tyred gantries by the end of 2001.

Other equipment on order is a fleet of Kalmar straddles, eight empty container handlers, 40 cornerless chassis, 30 35-tonne terminal tractors, three 40-tonne terminal tractors, 53 forklifts and roll trailers.

Siyanco DPA will also install a computerised vessel/yard planning and equipment control system.



BARLETONE, UK -- An angry farmer, who snubbed council demands to tidy his yard, has dumped three planning officers' cars in a hedge, the Mirror reported.

Brian Statham, 50, flipped the vehicles onto their sides using a forklift after "seeing red" when officials tried to remove pallets from his farm.

Neighbours had branded the property a "scrapyard", the Mirror said.


ST-JEROME, Quebec -- About 20 people were taken to hospital after being overcome by carbon monoxide fumes leaked by a forklift, the National Post said.

The workers, at Icon Canada Inc, were sent to hospital for treatment for nausea and dizziness after their office building was evacuated.

Emergency officials said the fumes came from a forklift, but did not know what caused the leak.

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