UpRight owners boost Snorkel capacity

17 March 2008

Darren Kell, Tanfield chief executive

Darren Kell, Tanfield chief executive

Tanfield Group committed $10 million in capital expenditure on Snorkel within two weeks of finalizing its acquisition of the US manufacturer, said its chief executive, Darren Kell.

Snorkel's Kansas facilities are to get a new paint job costing around $4 million, a new computer system, plus machine tools and equipment to help increase production at its Elwood and Wathena. Capacity at Wathena, the smaller of the two locations, is to be boosted by 50,000 square foot to 95,000 square feet early next year.

Kell said Snorkel's order intake at the start of September – just weeks after Tanfield added Snorkel to its UpRight business – had been higher than ever before and added. “Were going to be flooding them with European orders – that's already happening,” he said.

Frank Scarborough, president of Tanfield's Snorkel division in the US, told ALH that Snorkel had an outstanding opportunity to grow under its new owners. “They are a very well funded company that's willing to support its acquisitions. I see accelerated growth of manufacturing capacity and design of new products,” he said.

Scarborough said Snorkel's previous owners had been surprised at the rate of growth of the company and by “what was involved financially in growing the company to $300 million capacity … Tanfield has a very aggressive approach to enhancing and growing all of their acquisitions, including Snorkel.”

Alongside the investment in manufacturing capacity, Tanfield is also expected to be more aggressive on pricing of Snorkel products, with lower prices expected on electric scissor lifts, a product where Snorkel currently has a very low market share in the US.

Read our exclusive interview with Frank Scarborough on page 34.

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