Kanga Loaders acquired by Digga Manufacturing in Australia

17 March 2009

The Kanga Kid, one of the compact loaders produced by Kanga Loaders of Australia.

The Kanga Kid, one of the compact loaders produced by Kanga Loaders of Australia.

Kanga Loaders in Australia, manufacturer of the famous Kanga mini-loader tool carrier, has been acquired by Digga Manufacturing, the Australian manufacturer of earthmoving equipment wear parts and attachments.

Digga's managing director and chief executive officer Suzie Wright said the company had acquired the assets and brand from Kanga Loaders, with the deal "seen as a strategic move during tough economic times to reduce overhead and boost Digga's manufacturing strength."

Ms Wright said the acquisition would secure the jobs of Kanga's 30 current staff and that a further 15-20 new employees were expected to be created. Alan Porter, group managing director of the Jaden Kanga group, is no longer involved in the Kanga business.

The new owner said Kanga's products would be sold through Kanga's existing international sales network and "a new dealer network".

A spokesman for Kanga Loaders UK told IRN that it continued to market the Kanga range in the UK and retained the rights to sell the loaders in Europe. He said the acquisition was good news for the brand.

A spokesman for Digga Europe, based in Andover, UK, confirmed that distribution in Europe would remain unchanged, and that Kanga customers would benefit from Digga Europe's inventory of parts and attachments.

Ms Wright said; "The Kanga acquisition will ensure the highly successful loader line stays fully Australian made, and with the added strength of Digga's manufacturing, engineering research & development capability continue to grow & refine the product to maintain its market leadership now and well into the future."

The spare parts and service departments of both companies will be merged under a new arm of the Digga group to be called Digga Spares & Service. Kanga's mini-loader attachments, meanwhile, will be brought under the Digga Attachments division, providing an extended range to the Digga dealer network.

Digga was founder in 1981 by current chairman Stewart Wright. The company's website says it pioneered pendulum drilling in Australia and now produces a wide range of compact high torque planetary drives for the drilling, anchoring and attachment industry. It operates a 12500 m2 facility in Brisbane, Australia, and other plants Sydney and Melbourne, and in Andover, UK.

Meanwhile, Kanga Loaders' parent company, Jaden Engineering, has also been sold, to the Rockrush Group. Jaden, which made marine winches and other specialist equipment, was founded in 1978 by Alan Porter and Doug McIlwraith as a general contract manufacturer of heavy industrial hydraulic machinery for shipping and marine industries. It developed a compact loader in 1980 as a sideline project, later becoming the Kanga loader.

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