Nissan is buying Swedish warehouse equipment manufacturer Atlet through its subsidiary, Nissan Forklift Europe.
Combined, the companies produce more than 36,500 units worldwide a year with an annual turnover of 858 million euros. Both brands and sales networks will be operated separately in the market.
“Atlet is the ideal partner for us to reinforce our position as a major player in the global material handling market thanks to their high quality products, which complement our existing product line-up,” said Toshio Aoki, corporate vice president of Nissan in charge of the industrial machinery division.
Atlet chief executive Marianne Brismar said: “Nissan Forklift is a natural fit for us. Not only will we have the opportunity to strengthen our product range under our existing brand name, but we will also be able to expand into new markets.”
Atlet was founded 49 years ago by Knut Jacobsson and until now has been owned by the family.
“With no natural family succession, we wanted to find an industrial partner to allow us long-term development and to further strengthen the Atlet brand”, said Jacobsson. “We welcome this. It is an industrial solution. It opens great potential for an exciting and rewarding future for our employees.”
Nissan Forklift’s key markets include Europe, USA, Japan and other global markets. Nissan Forklift’s main products are engine and battery powered counterbalanced forklifts. Atlet has a strong presence in Europe, its main market, and is also experiencing growth in emerging markets. ?The agreement will allow both companies to benefit from the exchange of technology and manufacturing know-how. In addition, joint purchasing opportunities are expected to improve cost competitiveness.
The two companies have had a relationship since 2002 with an OEM agreement for Atlet to manufacture warehouse equipment for Nissan Forklift for selected markets across Europe.
Following the completion of the acquisition process, Nissan will appoint a new chief executive for Atlet. Marianne Brismar will remain as a special advisor to Atlet.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2007 pending approval by the EU Commission.
Paul Forster, joint managing director of Atlet in the UK, said: “This is really good news for the Atlet Group and one which will bring increased opportunities and benefits at the technical and manufacturing production level.
“We expect to see expansion of Atlet in the UK and a further strengthening of the Atlet brand which has been built on product quality, strong personal relationships with our customers and high levels of service and commitment.”