Purchase of remaining Shares in Linde Creighton
In February 2012 we purchased the remaining 51% shares in Linde Creighton Ltd., our UK dealer, and today own 100% of the company. From 1 March 2012 on, Linde Creighton Ltd. has been consolidated in our Group financial statements. In the past 12 months, Linde Material Handling (UK) Ltd. has also acquired the outstanding shares in Linde Sterling Ltd. and Linde Castle Ltd., and consequently, Linde Material (UK) Ltd. is now 100% owner of all its trading companies throughout the United Kingdom, having previously acquired 100% of Linde Trifik Ltd. in 2006. These acquisitions have further strengthened the service business of the Linde brand in the United Kingdom.
Continuing Review of our Manufacturing Footprint
The KION Group is continuing to implement long-term structural and efficiency measures which include a further consolidation of our European production facilities by concentrating production in high volume plants in order to optimize the capacity utilisation levels in our European production facilities. Having finalized the consultation process the transfer of warehouse truck production from Montataire, France, to Luzzara, Italy, has been started. Production of counterbalance trucks of STILL and OM STILL brands have been concentrated in Hamburg, Germany, and the plant in Bari, Italy, is currently being closed. KION Group is actively searching for external re-industrialization opportunities by third party companies.
Foundation of KION Sales and Services Entity in South Asia
In April 2012, KION Group expanded its presence in the Asian material-handling market by setting up a new sales and services entity, KION South Asia, in Singapore. The increasing economic output of the region coupled with rising domestic consumption are pushing up demand for intralogistics, creating excellent growth prospects for KION's Linde, STILL and Baoli brands. As part of KION Asia, KION South Asia will help the Linde, STILL and Baoli brands to offer solutions tailored to the individual needs of their customers in the region, thereby contributing to the success of KION's global multi-brand strategy.