Skyjack to move into telehandlers

17 March 2008

Skyjack has agreed to buy Canadian telehandler manufacturer CareLift Equipment Ltd., based in Breslau, Ontario. Skyjack said the Carelift products complement its own scissor and boom lifts well, allowing it to offer a fuller range of machines to rental companies.

“The addition of CareLift's telehandler business along with the design and test abilities of the company opens up another large market for our Skyjack business,” said Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar, Skyjack's parent company. “The global telehandler market is worth $3 billion and growing. CareLift's popular ZoomBoom brand is well positioned to increase market share by utilizing Skyjack's well established distribution network.”

For the time being, the company said ZoomBoom telehandlers will continue to be manufactured at the CareLift facility, which is in close proximity to Skyjack's offices in Guelph, Ontario. However, production may move to a larger facility within the next year or two, Lloyd Spalding, president of Skyjack, told ALH. He said the ZoomBoom brand name will most likely be retained.

“Initially, we'll be growing the North American market and then eventually other markets,” Spalding said, when asked if Skyjack has plans to distribute the ZoomBoom product in Europe or Asia. Currently, the Middle East is the only country outside North America in which the ZoomBoom brand is sold. Spalding added that Skyjack will sell to the same distribution channels that the company and CareLift have traditionally sold into.

In a conference call announcing the share agreement, Ken McDougall, president of Linamar's industrial group, said that even though telehandler sales are down in 2007, it is anticipated that by 2010, sales will exceed the record set in 2006, thus making the CareLift purchase ideal at this time.

“It's business as usual for the time being,” said Dave Bristow, vice president of sales and marketing with CareLift, who confirmed that production will continue in the Breslau facility for the time being and that the company's labor force will retain their jobs. Bristow told ALH CareLift had outgrown its growth strategy, and that Skyjack had shown interest at the right time.

“In the world market, it would require a significant capital investment to get it to what Skyjack is going to do to it,” said Bristow. “It was a tough call but the right decision.”

Bristow confirms that the ZoomBoom brand name will be retained, though believes it could be as early next year that the units could be ZoomBoom by Skyjack. The brand will be showcased at Skyjack's booths at next years World of Concrete, ARA and Conexpo/ConAgg shows.

Meanwhile, Spalding, shortly after this news was made public, announced his retirement in February. He will be succeeded by McDougall.

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