The Manitowoc Company has revealed plans to separate its crane manufacturing and food service businesses and form two separate publically-traded companies.
The Manitowoc board of directors has approved the move and “anticipates effecting the separation through a tax-free spin-off of the Foodservice business and expects the spin-off to be completed in the first quarter of 2016, creating two separate, industry-leading companies with distinct enterprise strategies.”
Commenting on the move, Glen Tellock, Manitowoc Company chairman and CEO, said, “Manitowoc’s management team and our Board of Directors regularly evaluate and explore opportunities to optimise the Company’s performance and create value for shareholders.
“Manitowoc has taken and continues to take actions to enhance returns, including margin expansion initiatives, re-investment in our businesses, and utilisation of our free cash flow to de-lever our balance sheet. We believe the separation of Cranes and Foodservice will position these businesses to take advantage of anticipated long-term improvement in demand and other opportunities in their respective markets.”
In late 2014 USA-based investor Carl Icahn reported that he had a 7.7 % stake in Manitowoc and he began pushing for the company to split. Earlier in the year USA-based activist investor, Ralph Whitworth and his Relational Investors group, also urged the company to separate its businesses.
Manitowoc Cranes reported 2014 revenue of US$ 2.3 billion and Foodservice was $1.6 billion. Crane sales were down in 2014, according to the company's report - see our story, Manitowoc crane sales down in 2014, at: www.khl.com