Rolls-Royce Power Engineering has finally achieved its goal of divesting its materials handling businesses.

The Clarke Chapman group, which includes overhead crane builder Wellman Booth, was sold to Langley Holdings, a diverse engineering manufacturer based in Nottinghamshire, UK. This acquisition raises its annual turnover from less than £20m a year to about £55m ($80m).

Clarke Chapman supplies crane systems for a range of sectors including nuclear, ports, offshore platforms, steel production and railways through its Wellman Booth, Stothert & Pitt and Cowans Sheldon divisions. The business also undertakes facilities management contracts at ports, naval dockyards and industrial locations around the UK and overseas. It joins Langley with about £22m ($33m) worth of orders in hand.

Langley consolidated its entry into the crane manufacturing business by purchasing, in the same month, crawler crane manufacturer RB (formerly Ruston Bucyrus) which had been in administration to protect it from bankruptcy since July 2000.

Also around the end of last year, French harbour crane maker Caillard was sold by Rolls-Royce to KCI Konecranes of Finland as an after-market business. It will no longer build cranes, KCI said, but instead will follow KCI Konecranes’ strategy of supplying maintenance services and expand into covering other crane makes as well.   Caillard employs about 20 people in Le Havre but according to Mikko Uhari, president of KCI’s harbour crane operations, Konecranes VLC Oy: “The long term employment within field services will be a multiple of this number.” KCI Konecranes intends to align its new subsidiary and the recently acquired Noell Konecranes, bought in March 2000, with its existing port service operations, especially those in Asia, the Baltic Basin and the North American east coast.

Noell Konecranes has recently won several major maintenance contracts including a two-year maintenance contract for 50 straddle carriers for Hamburger Hafen und Lagerhaus AG, as well as a modernisation project for a shipyard in Dakar, Senegal and a translocation job for EADS Airbus in Hamburg, where a storage hall with heavy load trailers will be moved to a new location.  In March 2000 Rolls-Royce announced its intention to sell or close its materials handling businesses. That programme is concluded with these deals, the price which was not disclosed.

Konecranes has sold its French subsidiary Cogeran Konecranes. Cogeran specialises in maintenance for power plant cranes and was acquired by Société de Maintenance Industrielle (SMI) belonging to the French Bergerat Monnoyeur Group.

KCI Konecranes acquired Cogeran in 1997, when it was called Copas ALM. Last year Cogeran reported sales of approximately FF17m ($2.55m) and employed 30 people.