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Wajax Limited, Toronto, CA, a publicly traded distributor on the Toronto Stock Exchange, plans to convert the company into an income fund, where current shareholders will exchange their common shares for units in the new income trust fund. The rationale is that the income fund structure will create higher value units than Wajax's common shares, based in part on its low ongoing capita requirements relative to their abilities to generate cash flow. The company has three core distribution businesses in mobile equipment and after-sale parts, diesel engines and industrial power transmission and fluid power components. Wajax reported annual sales of C$928.2 million, with about a third of sales from its industrial components group, which includes Kinecor in Canada (C$253 million) and Spencer (C$56.8 million) in the western U.S. See article here.
Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Kanox, Inc., Hutchinson, KS, a distributor of packaged gases and welding hardgoods with annual revenues of $23 million. Airgas currently owns 25% of the outstanding stock and would purchase the remaining shares from private shareholders. Kanox operates nine locations in Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma and employs about 120 people. See article here.
Atlas Copco AB, Stockholm, Sweden, has acquired BIAB Tryckluft AB, a distributor of compressors and compressed air equipment in Sweden. It has annual sales of MSEK 15 (US$2.2 million) and eight employees. The company has been in the Swedish market for more than 50 years and represents suppliers of compressed air equipment. BIAB will represent the Ceccato business of the Industrial Air division within the Atlas Copco Compressor Technique business area. See article here.
The Timken Company, Canton, OH, will launch a line of industrial seals in May. Timken entered into a licensing and supply agreement with Federal-Mogul Corporation to sell its industrial seal products in the U.S. and Canada. Timken will market and sell National industrial seals under the Timken brand, in Timken packaging. These seals will be available exclusively to authorized Timken industrial distributors and select original equipment manufacturers. The seals are used in a full range of equipment used in thousands of applications such as manufacturing, off-highway, power transmission and oil refineries. See article here
Parker Hannifin Corporation, Cleveland, OH, said it is revising its estimated range of earnings for the fiscal 2005 third quarter, ending Mar. 31. With quarterly earnings previously forecast to range from $1.10 and $1.30 per diluted share, the company now expects to earn between $1.05 and $1.15 cents per diluted share from continuing operations in the quarter. "We are revising our previously forecast earnings range because of greater-than-anticipated softening in the automotive market; slowdowns in the mobile markets in our International Industrial segment; and ongoing inventory reductions," commented Chairman and CEO Don Washkewicz. "Even with this revision in our outlook, Parker is still expecting to achieve its first $8 billion year in revenues and an increase in reported earnings from continuing operations of approximately 50 percent."
Kennametal Inc., Latrobe, PA, broke ground Mar. 15 for the firm's new Chinese manufacturing plant. Located in the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA), the facility, initially sized at 15,000 square meters, will employ 200 people in manufacturing, and advanced engineering and design activities. This facility could grow to 35,000 square meters and employment could reach 400 people. Estimated investment in this new plant will be between US$30-40 million, in addition to the $35 million US that Kennametal has already invested in its China business. Currently Kennametal annual sales in China top US$50 million. See article here.