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Thomas Equipment Completes Purchase of Tovel Manufacturing

Wed March 22, 2006 - National Edition
CEG



Thomas Equipment Inc. has completed the purchase of substantially all of the assets of privately held 1221549 Ontario Limited dba Tovel Manufacturing, including all inventory, trademarks and patents, customer lists, designs, engineering drawings and production facilities related to Tovel’s rough-terrain forklifts, telescopic handlers, attachments, mortar/plaster mixers, mortar boxes and buggies.

Thomas, through an operating subsidiary, will purchase the Tovel assets for $1.1 million in cash plus 40,000 options to employees (strike price of $4.50).

Thomas management expects the acquisition to be additive to earnings within the next two quarters, and plans to immediately expand Tovel’s current limited North American distribution to include Thomas’ 375 global dealer network and the 424 dealer network supports a private label program with one of Thomas’ strategic OEM partners.

Tovel, incorporated in Canada in 1970, designs and manufactures six models of rough-terrain forklifts, five models of telescopic handlers, 10 attachments models and mortar and plaster mixers. With limited distribution, Tovel is one of the smaller manufacturers of approximately 20 brands worldwide addressing a market opportunity in the United States alone that totals $1.8 billion annually in rough-terrain forklifts and telescopic handlers. The market for rough-terrain forklifts and telescopic handlers has doubled over the past 10 years during which Tovel has captured less than 1 percent of the market, despite its product excellence.To date, Tovel’s customer base numbers 200 and is limited to the North American marketplace.

“The management of Thomas Equipment and Pneutech has been making accretive acquisitions for over 10 years. We have a proven history of quickly consolidating an acquisition, and immediately leveraging our infrastructure to bring accelerated growth to the acquired company’s revenue stream,” commented Clifford Rhee, president and CEO of Thomas Equipment.

“Our future plans are to integrate the Tovel product line into our dealer network and into our private label OEM partner network. We will consolidate a portion of the Tovel manufacturing into our Centreville plant, and will be leveraging our current engineering capability to create additional product enhancements to the Tovel line.”