Manitowoc is one of two firms that recently sold product lines to private equity investors. (Photo courtesy The Manitowoc Co.)

Two lifting equipment manufacturers have recently sold major product segments to private investors. OmniQuip Textron Inc., Port Washington, Wis., has sold its aerial work platform business Snorkel International, and The Manitowoc Co., Manitowoc, Wis., has sold its Manitowoc Boom Truck division of Georgetown, Texas.

Even though Snorkel had reported $37 million in earnings for 2002, company reports say it was not enough to keep the business up and scissor lifts in June 2002.

Elwood Holdings LLC, St. Joseph, Mo., recently purchased the discontinued Snorkel line from OmniQuip Textron, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., which produces a broad range of vehicles, including aircraft, telescopic handlers, and golf carts. Exact details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

"This acquisition is a positive thing for the tens of thousands of Snorkel units in the field, and it adds to their residual value," says Guy Ramsey, Ramsey Management Services, an equipment consulting firm in Scottsdale, Ariz. Ramsey advises existing Snorkel owners to contact their local Snorkel dealers for continued support.

According to Ramsey, one of the new Snorkel principals is Allen Havlin of FluidTech, Lenexa, Kan., who helped design and supply hydraulic components for Snorkel boom lifts. At press time, company officials could not be reached for further comments.

In other news, The Manitowoc Co., Manitowoc, Wis., has sold its Manitowoc Boom Trucks crane division to Quantum Heavy Equipment LLC, a Delaware-based investment firm, also for an undisclosed sum.

This past summer, Manitowoc was required to sell off either the National or Manitowoc boom truck product portfolio in order to satisfy a U.S. Dept. of Justice antitrust consent agreement in the firm's acquisition of Grove Worldwide (ENR 3/25/02 p. 13). It has chosen to keep the National product line, originally a Grove subsidiary.

"While we are disappointed to sell this business…all matters relating to the Grove acquisition are now complete," says Terry D. Growcock, Manitowoc's chairman and chief executive officer.

According to officials at the Georgetown office, Quantum Heavy Equipment has renamed the company Manitex Inc., the boom truck manufacturer's original name when Manitowoc founded it in 1983. Jay Schiffler, sales manager, adds that customer support will not be affected. "Support will not change, just the ownership," he says.