Caterpillar acquires minority ownership of Shandong SEM

Caterpillar finalized an acquisition March 22 of minority ownership in Shandong SEM Machinery, a wheel loader manufacturer in China. A year of negotiations led up to the acquisition, which Caterpillar says is aimed at leveraging SEM’s expertise, product quality and market position to expand Caterpillar’s presence in China. The agreement also gives Caterpillar an option to purchase the remaining equity in SEM in 2007. Caterpillar operates 10 facilities — some joint ventures and some wholly owned businesses — and employs 2,000 people in China. It distributes products in that country through five independent dealers.