KCI Konecranes has expanded its presence in the German crane service market by taking over the crane maintenance business of Noell Service und Maschinentechnik and the crane service business of Donges Stahlbau. Both operations will be integrated in Pro Kran Service GmbH.

Noell Service was bought from Preussag Noell, a subsidiary of Babcock Borsig, which recently also sold its dockside and container handling business to Fantuzzi-Reggiane of Italy.

Noell Service’s crane maintenance business is the largest independent crane maintenance operation in Germany, Konecranes said. The deal requires the approval of the German antitrust authority but is expected to be completed this month.

Noell Service has annual sales of about DM65m ($32m) and has 312 employees.

Donges decided to sell its crane service business to concentrate on its core business, the supply of steel structures. It will also discontinue manufacturing and selling cranes. Instead, the parties will join efforts in selling Donges buildings and Konecranes EOT cranes together. The annual sales of Donges service business has typically been above DM10m ($5m).

Konecranes claimed that the acquisition took it into second place in the German crane market, which is Europe’s largest.

KCI Konecranes’ previous entries to the German market were the acquisitions of MAN SWF in 1997 and Trost & Hilterhaus in 1998, both of which are predominantly engaged in standard lifting equipment. Earlier this year KCI Konecranes entered the special crane market in Germany through the acquisition of Külicke. Following the Noell Service acquisition, all of KCI Konecranes’ business areas now have a strong foothold in Germany, the company said.