KCI Konecranes takes stake in Japanese hoist manufacturer

22 November 2002

KCI Konecranes has entered the Japanese market by taking a 49% shareholding in Meiden Hoist System Company Ltd 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 approximately 15,000 units, said KCI.

Meiden Hoist is a pioneer in the industry, having began producing hoists in 1937. Today it has a 10% share of the electric wire rope hoist market in Japan and has sales of approximately Yen 2bn ($16.3m). Market leader Kito has sales of about Yen10bn yen KCI's 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.

'Meiden being the most well-known and the oldest hoist brand in Japan, and KCI Konecranes being the world leader in advanced hoisting technology, the combination of the two will create a strong and paramount player in the domestic Japanese market,' said Meidensha Corporation president Mr Kataoka KCI Konecranes president Stig Gustavson in a joint statement.

Meidensha Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is a heavy electric machinery manufacturer. The company has four business groups - Energy, Environment, Information & Communications and Industrial Systems. Meidensha has annual sales of Yen 200bn ($1.6bn) and more than 7,600 employees. T he company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.