CMCO acquired the Kissing, Germany based Pfaff-silberblau from the EQT Opportunity Fund, which is advised by private equity firm EQT Partners, for EUR36m, or approximately $53m, effective October 1 2008.

Cranes Today understands that previous Pfaff UK managing director Paul Kelly left Pfaff in early 2007 and moved to CMCO as CM brand product manager in November 2007.

CMCO already owns Velbert, Germany materials handling brand Yale Industrial Products, which it acquired in 1996.

CMCO president and CEO Timothy Tevens said that the Pfaff business is complementary to Yale, as well as its distribution business, CM Europe, based in the UK.

Pfaff-silberblau’s lifting and material handling business includes wire rope winches, chain hoists, rack and pinion jacks and hand pallet trucks.  Its actuator business designs, develops, manufactures and markets components for lifting and motion control, including worm gear screw jacks, linear motion precision screws and quick lifting screw jacks.

Tevens said, “Its actuator business provides us with technical engineering expertise, access to the growing European market and diversifies our existing North American business. Of note, Pfaff-silberblau provides us with additional channels to market that enhance our position in the European market,” he added.

CMCO said it plans to maintain the Pfaff-silberblau brand and work closely with the current Pfaff-silberblau management to continue to operate the business and serve as key members of the post-closing integration team.

Tevens said: “We believe there are numerous sales and operating synergies that can be realised through a combination of our Columbus McKinnon European and Duff Norton businesses with the 140-year-old Pfaff organisation.”

Pfaff-silberblau employs over 300 people and is represented worldwide through six international subsidiaries as well as numerous regional representatives.  It had been owned by EQT since November 2006.