Materials Handling Online -- FEBRUARY 16, 2001
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VANCOUVER, Canada -- Finning International Inc, which sells, rents, finances and services Caterpillar equipment in Canada, Britain and Chile, has completed a US$465 million acquisition of Hewden Stuart plc, a United Kingdom equipment rental company.

While the deal was signed late last November, Finning only acquired control of Hewden on January 26, through the purchase of 95.7% of Hewden's shares at 115 pence per share. Finning (UK) Ltd is the national Caterpillar dealer for Britain, serving England, Scotland and Wales.

For the year ending January 2000, Hewden had revenues of UK (pounds) 256 million and pre-tax profits of UK (pounds) 40.5 million.

Finning says the acquisition, which includes 370 locations in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with more than 4300 employees, makes it the UK's largest rentals company.

Finning president and chief executive officer Doug Whitehead said: "Hewden Stuart's strong national network, its excellent employees, its modern fleet and its recognised brand name will enable us to achieve solid growth and create superior shareholder value."

He said 2000 was a successful, eventful year. "We made major progress on many of our initiatives and strategically repositioned the company for future success."

The Hewden Stuart acquisition comes on top of two take-overs by Finning in 1997. In May 1997, Finning's Canadian arm acquired Interior Lift Truck, headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. The company sells, rents and services materials handling equipment from Kelowna and branches in Vernon and Penticton.

In October 1997, Finning (UK) acquired H Leverton Ltd, the former Caterpillar dealer for eastern and northern England. H Leverton has been integrated into the Finning (UK) operation.

Hewden Stuart chairman Sir John Robb said the acquisition by Finning was a "major step forward".

"Customers and employees will benefit from access to the extensive resources and international backing Finning will bring to Hewden Stuart."
ANCENIS, France -- Manitou has added to its agricultural, self-propelled forklift range by launching the MLT 526 Compact.

Version 1 of the MLT 526 is certainly compact - just 2.01 metres wide and 2.06 metres high. Manitou says this makes the truck ideal for working in specialised buildings, such as poultry sheds and other low-level animal housing. Version 2 of the model is marginally bigger at 2.01 metres wide and 2.22 metres high.

Despite its minimal dimensions, the forklift can raise 2600kg to 5.15 metres, and has a range of attachments for most farm applications, including a grab bucket, a manure fork, a silage unloader and a straw spreader.

The MLT 526 has fair rough terrain capabilities, with a ground clearance of 0.36 metres. Its torque-converting transmission and two optional engines (80hp and 106hp), give it traction and pulling power.

Manitou's latest prototype, the even smaller MLT 523, will be displayed at SIMA 2001 at the Paris Nord Exhibition Centre, from February 18-22.

At less than 2 metres wide and less than 2 metres high, Manitou says the MLT 523 "breaks all records for its compact size".

For more information visit
WIESBADEN, Germany -- The Linde Group collectively achieved sales of EU8.45 billion in 2000 and its materials handling division was its stand-out performer.

Materials handling sales, across the company's three brands Linde, Still and Fiat OM, climbed 12.8% to EU2.95 billion, Linde's 2000 annual report said.

The division produced 105,000 units in 2000, growth of 14% on 1999.

Linde said in a statement that the company had "once more strengthened its leading position in important European markets, and achieved good growth rates in the USA".

Figures in the Japanese market should improve this year, it said, due to the agreement reached with Japanese Komatsu Forklift Ltd late last October. Komatsu began selling Linde models throughout Japan as part of a global alliance.

Meanwhile the Jungheinrich Group, the fourth-biggest manufacturer of industrial trucks and warehousing technology in the world, increased its sales to more than EU1.5 billion in 2000, growth of 13% over 1999.

Jungheinrich AG chairman Dr Cletus von Pichler said orders rose 16% from 1999 to more than 64,000 trucks last year.

"The positive development over the whole year considerably exceeded our expectations," Dr von Pichler said. "It shows that, with our innovative products and system solutions, we are very well-positioned in the logistics market."

This year sees a new generation of battery-powered forklifts being launched, with Jungheinrich to concentrate on three-phase AC power technology.
LJUNGBY, Sweden -- Kalmar Industries has launched a new range of empty container handlers, called the DCE series, designed to improve stability, reliability and efficiency.

The DCE lift trucks have a new chassis and a wide, stiff mast. "This means the overall construction is sturdy, and stability at any height can be guaranteed," a company statement said.

The new Spirit Delta cabin, standard on the DCE series, provides unique visibility for the operator, Kalmar said. DCE machines can also be equipped with electronic monitoring systems to simplify operations, and improve efficiency and ease of use.

Kalmar Container Handling Sales vice president Bengt Larsson said the DCE was "the top model in its class and the new lift truck design is a fine example of quality manufacturing.

"We have drawn heavily on our extensive experience in the container handling machinery business to create a lift truck that is extremely functional and efficient," Mr Larsson said.

The EC handler is available in two basic models - the DCE70E and the DCE90E. Both can stack containers up to eight high and have lift capacities of seven and nine tonnes respectively.

Features of the new EC handlers include:

- The option to supply the mast as either a standard duplex, or a triplex version, so containers can be lifted to between five and eight high;

- Wet disc brakes as standard;

- A choice of integrated spreaders, enabling single or double lifting. The single is a spreader with twistlocks, and the double has a hydraulic central tilt function, with hooks, for single or double stacking. Both spreaders can adjust between 20 and 40 feet, side-shift up to 600mm and have a tilt of 195mm. (To double stack, the 9-tonne model is required).

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HONG KONG -- Bowing to demand, organisers of the Terminal Operations Conference (TOC) Asia Exhibition, at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from February 20-22, have increased floorspace, making this year's TOC one third larger than the event in Dubai last year.

TOC Asia has attracted some of the world's big names, including CSX World Terminals, Fantuzzi-Reggiane Noell SPA, The Port of Melbourne, Kalmar Industries, Dockwise NV, Mannesmann Dematic, and Cavotec.

TOC Asia is expected to draw delegates and visitors from across the industry, including shippers, logistics companies, freight forwarders, shipping lines, port authorities, terminal operators, stevedores, intermodal operators, and handling equipment and system providers.

For more information, go to

TOKYO, Japan -- Shinko Electric Company plans to enter the engine-powered forklift market in a bid to increase its domestic market share from 4% to 6% by 2002.

The Nikkei Industrial Daily News (NIDN) said Shinko began selling 67 Sumitomo Nacco Materials Handling Company engine-powered models and planned on selling 500 units, for JPN (Yen) 600 million, this year.

In another report, the NIDN said Japan's forklift sales had risen 10% since 1999. Forklift production grew 13% in 2000 to 111,251 units, the first time more than 100,000 forklifts had been produced since 1998.

ROCHDALE, UK -- A 40-stone man has been winched through a window of his home by a forklift so he could be taken to hospital.

The Manchester Evening News said Chris Little, 40, was lifted by paramedics and fire officers into canvas slings because they could get him through his front door.

Officers had to fix slings underneath Mr Little, removed ground-floor window, and attached the slings to a forklift. He was lifted through the window and into an ambulance.
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