At the opening ceremony of bauma China on November 27, Zoomlion officially signed and announced a strategic deal to acquire 100% shares of Wilbert, the world's leading tower crane manufacturer. This agreement marks Zoomlion’s high-profile entering the European market after it has reached the number one in market share in China, and as a milestone in implementing its “going global” strategy, it will help to form the company’s full range of tower crane services worldwide.
This deal will enable a strong alliance between the two parties. Zoomlion will rapidly realize self-improvement by learning from the experience and technology of the top international brand, and fill the gaps in the high-end markets in Europe and the US relying on tremendous business resources of Wilbert. While, Wilbert can quickly promote its sales and market share with Zoomlion’s extensive marketing network and advantages in capital. Wilbert products have great potential in not only Europe and America but Chinese high-end market. The two giants will also coordinate their supply chains and utilize the resources of the other for lower purchasing costs and achieve mutual development.
It is known that Wilbert is an old German brand in building trades with a history of more than 80 years. It is a world's leading manufacturer of luffing jib tower cranes and Europe's third-ranked tower crane renter. In Europe, Wilbert occupies the largest market share in the field of high-end cranes, and its large tower cranes are second to none in lifting capacity, accuracy and safety. The company also has strong ability in R&D, and customizes or modularizes products to satisfy various customer demands. Based on years of tower crane rental experience, Wilbert fully considers the convenience and economy of leasing, transportation, installation and disassembly services during product design, and provide products and services unique in Europe.
Being an international high-end equipment manufacturer and the largest tower crane manufacturer in China, Zoomlion has a tower crane R&D history of over 6 decades. Focusing on tower crane design and manufacture, Zoomlion has created a wide range of star products, and successively set the Guinness world records of the “largest flat-head tower crane” and the “longest arm rack”. The market share of its tower crane products has remained top in China over years. The company owns the world's largest production base specific for producing tower cranes, as well as a tower crane factory, which is under construction now and expected to be internationally first-class and domestically cutting-edge as the first intelligent production line of tower cranes and elevators in the world. According to the latest data from authoritative third parties in the first half of 2018, Zoomlion Tower Crane maintains its dominant leadership position in Chinese market. At the same time, it continues to be ranked in the top three of the list of global heavyweight tower crane enterprises – "2018 Top 10 Global Tower Crane Manufacturers" as a top Chinese manufacturer in the area.
By teaching technologies and innovating R&D, Zoomlion has become the Chinese tower crane manufacturer with the most qualifications for international and regional access. It has long been the standard setter of Chinese national standards for tower cranes, and became partner with the ISO/TC96 (Cranes) Secretariat moved from Britain to China in 2012. At the annual meeting of the ISO Crane Technical Committee this year, Zoomlion took the initiative to revise a series of standards and proposed a new international standard, being the first to be developed by Chinese experts and marking a new achievement of Zoomlion in setting international standards for tower cranes.
The acquisition is in line with Zoomlion’s development strategy. Engineering machinery sector is the strategic focus of Zoomlion. In recent years, the company has been concentrated on its main business, pushed forward transformation and upgrading under the product strategy 4.0, and improved its strength in engineering machinery sector. Financial results in the first half of 2018 showed Zoomlion's sales revenue of engineering machinery products was 13.592 billion Yuan, up 61.15 % year on year, and the integration effect of engineering machinery cluster emerged. Industry insiders believe that the construction machinery industry will continue to grow rapidly thanks to China’s constant investment in infrastructure and opportunities to overseas markets granted by the "Belt and Road" initiative. The acquisition of Wilbert is the result of Zoomlion’s accurate judgment on the market and aspiration to integrate global resources, which will breed its further success.
According to reports, Zoomlion has started cross-border mergers and acquisitions and going global since 2001, being one of the earliest internationalized enterprises in China's construction machinery industry. It has delivers fruitful results with the successful M&A of PowerMole of the UK, CIFA of Italy, Raxtar of the Netherlands, and M-tec of Germany, some of which cases can even be pace-setting in the industry. The M&A of CIFA has been compiled into textbooks by the Harvard University as a successful case and is still quotable toady. In 2011, Zoomlion bought out the advanced Germany-invented JOST flat-head tower crane technology. With efforts of absorption over the past years, Zoomlion has fully mastered the technology and concept and developed a series of high-end flat-head tower products. Some models of the series have passed EU CE and Singapore MOM safety certification and entered European and American markets. The T600-25/32U flat-head PC tower crane exhibited at this bauma China is representative of the JOST series and has attracted Chinese and foreign customers upon its debut.
Experts analyze that Europe is the fastest growing regional market in the global tower crane industry. Under the market background of current industrial restructuring in the real estate industry and infrastructure industry, as well as the increasing number of mega-projects and high-rise projects in China, the manufacturing and rental industries in relation to tower cranes will usher in a new stage of development. The acquisition of Wilbert by Zoomlion is a rare development opportunity for both parties. It can be expected that Zoomlion will implement the M&A based on its rich experience in cross-border acquisition and integration and deliver another successful case in this field.