Materials Handling Online December 22nd 2000
As this will be the last Newsletter for the year 2000 we would like to THANK ALL OF YOU, our readers and supporters. It has been a very exciting year for and your support and feedback is helping us create this web portal for the international materials handling community. It is clear from all the feedback that may in the industry are very keen to receive industry news from around the world and once we launch our site (SEE NEWSFLASH BELOW) next year we will increase our industry coverage. For now PLEASE feel free to tell us what is happening in your company or your associates companies; tenders/buyouts/strikes/mergers-anything and we will put our journalists to work!!

PLEASE NOTE that our next edition will be on January, 19th 2001.

REGGIO EMILIA, Italy -- Fantuzzi Reggiane SPA has flagged an assault on the booming south-east Asian container and ports market.

The Italian manufacturer, riding on the back of aggressive acquisitions and a 2000 sales boom, wants to cash in on what it says, in a statement to, is "the world's largest regional market for container handling equipment".

During 2000, Fantuzzi bought German company Noell Crane Systems and it is now buying a 70% stake in Noell's China operations with investment group China Merchants holding a 30% stake.

Fantuzzi and China Merchants will launch a "very ambitious" development program, which will see US$20 million pumped into Noell China's modern facilities in Zangzhou, near Xiamen, in south-east China, next year.

Fantuzzi and Noell will share the same sales and service network in China for their ranges and Fantuzzi says the Zangzhou facility will become "a major service centre".

Fantuzzi said they would have manufactured 500 units at its Reggio Emilia machinery plant by the end of 2000. As at September 30, orders were 30% above that forecast for the entire year. The company predicted that, by the end of December, orders would be at 60% over budget.

Second assembly shifts have been organised at Fanutzzi's Reggio Emilia and Lentigione plants to increase production to meet the new orders.

The company is also building a mobile harbour crane plant at Ravenna, Italy, and expanding its lift truck and reach stacker factory in Lentigione. The two plants will be at full capacity by 2002.

During 2000, Fantuzzi also acquired bulk systems company Ansaldo, and its cranes will soon be distributed through the Fantuzzi network.

Fantuzzi recently expanded its Noell facility in Wurzburg, Germany, where it manufactures straddles and mechanical and electrical components for its ship-to-shore, rail-mounted and RTG cranes.

"The company is now close to being world number one in the container handling equipment industry, including port container handling equipment," Fantuzzi said in its statement.


LEXINGTON, USA -- Clark Material Handling Company's European arm, Clark Material Handling Europe, has had capital financing of DM30 million (US$15 million) approved to complete the manufacturing transition plan outlined in Clark's Chapter 11 reorganisation filing.

The funds from the European lender, which Clark did not name, increase the total capital available to Clark Europe to DM50 million.

Clark Europe president and managing director Frithjof Timm said the company was "pleased and elated" with the deal.

"The additional funds will enable Clark Europe to expand production significantly to accommodate the increased requirements for forklift trucks from European manufacturing operations," he said.

Last June, Clark had permanent debtor-in-possession financing of up to US$45 million from Congress Financial Corporation approved by the US Bankruptcy Court.

Clark will stop manufacturing operations in Lexington, Kentucky, and transfer operations to facilities in Germany, Korea, and Alabama, USA.

Citing difficulties with high costs and a "leveraged capital position", Clark filed for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in April. The move gave the company time, under federal protection from creditors, to develop and implement a plan to meet its debts and remain in business.

Part of the process is cutting 50 engineering positions at the company's Lexington headquarters, and closing the Lexington production plant before Christmas.

A Clark facility in Changwon, South Korea, will now produce Clark's three and four-wheel electric lift trucks. Internal combustion lift trucks from two to seven tons capacity will be produced in Mulheim, Germany; and Pell City, Alabama, will add Clark reach trucks to its hand and electric pallet truck range.

Portland, USA -- Cascade Corporation president and chief executive officer Robert Warren has announced third-quarter net income of US$792,000, compared with US$1.34 million for the same period in 1999.

The leading attachments manufacturer's consolidated net sales were US$82.9 million, a gain of 1% over the US$82.5 million figure in 1999.

The results included after-tax, non-recurring charges of about US$3.1 million for restructuring in Europe and Australia, environmental and insurance expenses, and costs for the pending merger of Cascade and the Lift Group.

Cascade announced in October that it had 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.

The total value of the proposed acquisition is about US$320 million, including the assumption of outstanding debts, and the merger is expected to be completed early in 2001. reported in October that the company's Asia-Pacific arm had spent "a lot of money" changing its structure to improve customer accessibility and meet growing demand.

Cascade consolidated its advice and technical support branches and established a national call centre, based in Brisbane, Queensland. Stock levels were reduced because of the centralised support system.

The cost of the restructure, which includes Cascade's European operations, has been US$1.9 million so far. Mr Warren said the restructure was almost complete, and "should have minimal impact on fourth quarter results".


MT KISCO, USA -- Curtis Instruments has opened its 15th wholly-owned subsidiary, Curtis Instruments India, in Pune, India.

The subsidiary has been in operation since September 1997, servicing the south Asian market, but as a branch of Curtis UK, not a separate company. Curtis India provides components for electric vehicles for the material handling industry.

Vidyadhar S Humnabadkar has been named managing director of the new subsidiary. He has more than 13 years' experience in engineering, marketing and management.

Curtis expects a strong increase in demand for its products in Asia in the near future, and the subsidiary will position the company to meet the unique opportunities of the ascending market, a company statement said.


International materials handling portal site is now reaching in excess of 2000 industry participants throughout the world. With news subscribers from Portugal and Spain to Norway,Finland and Russia, The Arab Emirates to the USA, Chile and New Zealand to China, FLA is connecting a world community. spokesperson Lyn Perrett said that management expect the new e-business portal to be online in the first half of 2001. Collation of dealer information, manufacturers specifications and industry associations is currently happening in earnest.

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