Terex offloads Atlas loader crane business

By Alex Dahm11 March 2010

Terex Corporation announced on 11 March an agreement to divest itself of the Atlas knuckle boom cranes and part of the Atlas heavy construction equipment business.

It completed the process on 15 April to Atlas Maschinen GmbH. Former Terex executive Fil Filipov is chairman of Atlas Maschinen. The price was undisclosed. An amount of capital will be transferred with the business, Terex said.

"The Atlas divestiture is another important step forward in the strategic repositioning of Terex," said Ron DeFeo, Terex chairman and chief executive officer.

"We acquired the Atlas business in 2001 with the intention of having a quality full-size excavator as part of a globally competitive portfolio of construction equipment.

"Our goal was to grow the regionally strong Atlas excavator product as part of this strategy, but we were, for various reasons, never able to achieve the product cost advantage required for it to be successful.

"Despite restructuring attempts, the tough economic conditions in 2009 resulted in an operating loss for this business in excess of $61 million on sales of approximately $194 million, with approximately two-thirds of the loss coming from the construction products."

Included are the German factories, in Vechta and Delmenhorst for cranes and in Ganderkesee for excavators, the UK distribution business in Bradford and the minority holding in the Terex Atlas Chinese joint venture.

Terex compact equipment made in Germany, namely mini and midi-excavators and compact wheel loaders, as well as the Terex Fuchs material handler line, will remain with Terex as part of its Construction business segment.

Also not part of the transaction are Terex rigid and articulated trucks, backhoe-loaders and other products manufactured in the United Kingdom.

The knuckle boom crane element of the business was recently transferred to the Crane segment from the Construction segment where the rest of the Atlas business is reported.

Around 800 people in Germany and the UK will have their employment transferred to the new owner.

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