KCI buys stake in Japanese company…

2 December 2002

KCI Konecranes has entered the Japanese market by taking a 49% shareholding in Meiden Hoist System Company of Japan. Meidensha Corporation, which previously owned 100%, has retained a 51% stake.

Meiden Hoist System will continue its hoist and crane operations and will start using KCI Konecranes' CXT hoist technology under license.

KCI Konecranes has an option to buy an additional 16% of the joint venture's shares, exercisable before 31 March 2008.

According to KCI, Japan is one of the largest, if not the largest, hoist and crane market in the world. The electric wire rope hoist market alone is currently estimated to be 15,000 units.

Meiden Hoist is a pioneer in the industry, having begun producing hoists in 1937. Today it has a 10% share of the electric wire rope hoist market in Japan and has sales of about ¥2bn ($16.3m). Market leader Kito has sales of about ¥10bn. CXT hoists will be manufactured in Japan and sold under the brand name Meiden. Elsewhere where in the world these hoists are branded as the Verlinde VT, the SWF Nova and the R&M SX.

Meidensha Corporation, with its headquarters in Tokyo, is a heavy electrical machinery manufacturer. The company has four business groups - Energy, Environment, Industrial Systems and Information & Communications. It has annual sales of ¥200bn ($1.6bn) and more than 7,600 employees. The company is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.