2.2.1 Overview of the KION Group

KION Group is a leading provider of industrial trucks. In 2011, it generated revenue of €4,368 million and an order intake of 144,774 units. In its home European market, the KION Group is the market leader with a market share of more than 30 per cent. KION Group is also one of the most successful companies of the sector in the emerging markets of China and Brazil. This market presence is particularly important from a financial perspective because three in ten forklift trucks sold by the KION brand companies are now delivered to customers in the emerging markets. Measured in terms of revenue and the number of trucks sold, the KION Group is the world's number two and the market leader in Europe.

The KION Group's origins go back to 1904 when Carl von Linde founded Güldner-Motoren-Werke in Aschaffenburg (Germany) with Hugo Güldner and other partners. In 1929, Güldner-Motoren-Werke was acquired by Linde AG. Then in 1973, Linde AG acquired STILL GmbH (founded in 1920), thus paving the way for both organic growth and growth through acquisitions. This enabled it to continually expand its portfolio and strengthen its market position. One of the most important acquisitions in the Group's history was the French company Fenwick in 1984. Fenwick is the local brand of the Linde Material Handling Group in France, where it is market leader. The long-established company OM, which was founded in 1917, was added to the brand portfolio in 1992. The material-handling division of Linde AG, Munich, was spun off as an independent company called the KION Group in August 2006 and was sold to investment funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners in December of that year. Further acquisitions then took place to add to the existing brand companies. The KION Group acquired the Chinese company Baoli in 2009, before assuming complete management control the following year. The main aim with Baoli is to unlock the potential of the growth markets more effectively. In 2011, the KION Group acquired a majority stake in the Indian company Voltas Material Handling Ltd.

Across all its brands, the KION Group provides its customers with a complete portfolio for managing their internal goods flows. Besides warehouse trucks and counterbalance trucks with IC engines or electric motors, the KION Group also offers full-service solutions, for which demand is rising sharply. The services, financing and process management available to customers represent an increasingly significant line of business for the KION Group.

The KION Group is a global player and has around 1,200 sales outlets in 100 countries, forming one of the most extensive distribution and service networks in the entire industrial truck sector. The production facilities for industrial trucks, plus further component production sites and foundries, are situated at strategically beneficial locations within this broad network.

As at the end of 2011, the KION Group had 21,862 employees.

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