China’s Zoomlion confirms offer to woo Terex away from Konecranes merger

Updated Feb 18, 2016

Genie GTH-1254 telehandlerChinese equipment manufacturer Zoomlion has officially confirmed an offer made to Terex to buy the company, despite Terex’s plans to merge with Finnish manufacturer Konecranes.

Zoomlion announced Tuesday that on Dec. 4 it offered to buy Terex for $30 per share in cash. At the time of the offer, it represented a 41 percent premium over Terex’s then most recent closing price of $21.22.

Zoomlion, whose sales are restricted mainly to China, says buying Terex, whose business is primarily bolstered by aerial work platforms and cranes, will allow it to generate additional revenue through sales in the U.S. and European markets. Zoomlion adds that it values Terex’s “advanced manufacturing knowhow and technology”.

The Chinese company regards Terex as having a “similar corporate culture” as well and praised the Terex management team as “excellent”.

On Tuesday Terex announced sales fell 12 percent during the fourth quarter to $1.6 billion while profit fell 28 percent to $51 million. Full-year 2015 sales fell 11 percent to $6.5 billion while profit fell 16 percent to $355 million.

There are a couple of problems with Zoomlion’s proposed deal, however.

Most notably is Terex’s intention to merge with Konecranes. That all-share deal was announced by both companies in August 2015. In fact, the announcement mentioned expectations of $10 billion in annual revenues and listed the primary benefit of the deal as allowing the companies to fight off “low-cost emerging market players,” such as Chinese manufacturers, with enhanced scale.

Under that deal, Terex shareholders would own 60 percent of Konecranes Terex, while Konecranes shareholders would own 40 percent.

Another detriment to Zoomlion’s plans is opposition to its offer from a U.S. congressman. According to a report from Reuters, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Cal.) raised concerns over the deal in a letter to U.S. Treasury Sec. Jacob Lew “citing the Chinese company’s longtime association with [the] China People’s Liberation Army.

“The fact that a leading PLA supplier is seeking to purchase an American company that provides critical infrastructure equipment to a number of government agencies … demands that the agreement undergo thorough scrutiny,” Hunter said.