Palfinger Acquires Omaha Standard

Palfinger has announced the 100-percent takeover of Council Bluffs, Iowa-based Omaha Standard Inc., one of the leading producers of truck bodies and pick-up tail lifts in the United States. With this step the Palfinger Group makes use of current market opportunities in order to strengthen its market position in North America in the longer term.

Omaha Standard is a family-run business with a long tradition of producing and selling a wide range of truck bodies for the domestic market. The two main products are service bodies and pick-up tail lifts, placing Omaha Standard among the top three players in the U.S. market. The company has a state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plant with a KTL painting facility in Council Bluffs, in addition to nine body workshops and/or dealers in the country. Moreover, its products are sold and serviced via a distribution network comprised of approximately 400 centers.

“In the past few years Omaha Standard has heavily invested in the expansion of its production site which boasts a high-tech plant and efficient production processes,” said Christoph Kaml, designated CFO of Palfinger, who has been the project leader in his capacity as managing director of Palfinger's North America area.

”The ongoing financial and economic crisis in North America has prevented necessary capacity utilization from being achieved thus far,” he said. “For this reason both companies stand to profit from this acquisition. Omaha Standard ideally complements the previous operations of Palfinger in this market • in terms of both product portfolio and production and distribution capacities. As a result new distribution channels are now available to Omaha Standard, and there is of course more potential for utilization of capacities.”

The company has a workforce of 450. The manufacturing site and the U.S. specific product series will further support Palfinger's future growth in this market.

Within the Palfinger Group, Omaha Standard will have the status of a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Palfinger USA Inc., and the site in Omaha will become the production center for local products under the leadership of existing management. Palfinger will have four manufacturing and/or assembly locations in North America. The distribution network will increase to ten own and 150 independent dealers with altogether 500 sales and service centers.

Herbert Ortner, CEO of Palfinger, summed up this strategic move as follows: “The current situation in North America provides us with the opportunity to expand our business in this exciting market by actively participating in the consolidation of the market. With Omaha Standard we have established a sound platform for achieving future growth in the North America area and increasing local value creation.”