Skyjack to Buy CareLift Equipment Ltd.

Guelph, Ontario-based Skyjack, Inc. announced today it has signed an agreement to purchase CareLift Equipment Ltd., Breslau, Ontario. The proposed transaction is subject to, among other things, further due diligence. The deal closing is expected in late August.

Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Skyjack's parent company Linamar Corp., said in a company conference call that this is a “very exciting acquisition for us, as it furthers our diversification strategy in the industrial market with a product that's very complementary to our existing offering.” She also noted that the Zoom Boom telehandlers, which range from 6,000- to 32,000-pound capacities, fit Skyjack's philosophy of producing high-quality, low-maintenance designs.

With the majority of telehandler growth coming from North America, Hasenfratz said Skyjack plans to increase the Zoom Boom product's market share to 3 to 5 percent in the next five years with steady growth in the meantime. In order to do so, Skyjack plans to ramp up production and make more improvements to the margin, such as implementing Lean manufacturing and leveraging the purchasing power of the larger organization to help with profitability.

However, according to Ken McDougall, group president of Linamar's industrial division, the key driver behind the growth of the Zoom Boom products will be the product itself. “It is well-engineered, and it is accepted in the marketplace,” he said. “It is just making it more available through a wider distribution channel.”

Additionally, Skyjack plans to take the Zoom Boom product line, which is currently only sold in North America, to the global marketplace. “We need to take a look at the current design and its acceptability in other markets where design parameters are different,” McDougall said.

The initial plan for manufacturing the Zoom Boom telehandlers is to continue operations on its current owner's site, but Hasenfratz said the long-term strategy would likely bring it into one of Skyjack's existing operations. However, it will not necessarily be one of the existing plants, she added, which are already quite full.