Oshkosh Truck Buys Jerr-Dan

Oshkosh Truck Corp. has agreed to acquire towing and recovery equipment manufacturer Jerr-Dan Corp. for $80 million from an affiliate of Littlejohn & Co. Greencastle, PA-based Jerr-Dan said it posted annual sales in excess of $100 million in 2003. The deal caps a strong six-month run by the $1.9 billion Oshkosh, WI-based specialty truck and body maker, which builds vehicles for the military as well

Oshkosh Truck Corp. has agreed to acquire towing and recovery equipment manufacturer Jerr-Dan Corp. for $80 million from an affiliate of Littlejohn & Co. Greencastle, PA-based Jerr-Dan said it posted annual sales in excess of $100 million in 2003.

The deal caps a strong six-month run by the $1.9 billion Oshkosh, WI-based specialty truck and body maker, which builds vehicles for the military as well as fire and rescue equipment and commercial refuse trucks under its Pierce Manufacturing and McNeilus subsidiaries, respectively.

For starters, Oshkosh said net income for its second quarter, which ended March 31, increased 59.2% to $22.5 million on sales of $518.2 million, compared to profits of $14.1 million on sales of $453.4 million in the second quarter of 2003. The company said increased defense sales – a jump of 28.8% to $168.1 million for the second quarter – helped boost its profits.

In these heady days of growth, Oshkosh’s chairman & CEO Robert Bohn believes Jerr-Dan fits well with the company’s long-held growth strategy and its potential to “cross-pollinate” with its other subsidiaries.

“We believe there are opportunities for cross-market technology integration between Jerr-Dan and other Oshkosh subsidiaries,” he said. “For example, Oshkosh has delivered more than 2,500 heavy-duty wreckers to the military, and Jerr-Dan developed one of the first composite bodies in the towing industry, similar to what Oshkosh has accomplished in the concrete placement industry.”

Jerr-Dan will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh and will be part of the corporation's fire and emergency business, Bohn added. Completion of the transaction is subject to certain customary conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to occur in July, he said.

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