Caterpillar has agreed to fully acquire its Japanese joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Caterpillar Japan. The JPY 36.5 billion (US$ 455 million) transaction will take place in the second quarter of the year, and follows a similar agreement in March 2008 that saw Caterpillar increase its holding in the company - then called Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi - from 50% to 67% at a cost of JPY 50 billion (US$ 500 million, at the time).
The 50:50 joint venture was set up in 1964 as Caterpillar Mitsubishi to sell Caterpillar-branded equipment in Japan. The name was changed to Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi in 1987 and then to Caterpillar Japan in 2008, following the first phase of Caterpillar's buy-out.
Caterpillar Japan's assets include a components factory in Sagami and an excavator factory in Akashi, which is also Caterpillar's global excavator design centre. It also owns a several dealers and rental companies in Japan. International Rental News estimates the rental revenues of these businesses at € 270 million (US$ 360 million), making it the 28th largest rental company in the world according to the magazine's IRN-100 ranking.
"The strategic decision to fully integrate our Japanese operations into Caterpillar supports our enterprise strategy focus on competing and growing leadership in the rapidly expanding emerging markets of Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States," said Rich Lavin, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for construction industries and growth markets.
In additionCaterpillar has acquired Caterpillar Tohoku, which has been an independent dealer for the company for more than 40 years in the prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyahi, Akita, Yamagata and Fukushima.