FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., (December 20, 2007) - Jervis B. Webb Company (“Webb”) of Farmington Hills, Mich., U.S.A, - a world leader in material handling solutions -announced today the completion of the sale of 100% of Webb’s outstanding shares to Daifuku Co., Ltd. (TSE:6383), headquartered in Osaka, Japan, (“Daifuku”). Webb is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daifuku, making Daifuku the largest material handling company in the world, according to Modern Materials Handling magazine.
Through the acquisition of Webb, Daifuku is accelerating the expansion and strengthening of its overseas business, an important goal in its three-year business plan launched in April 2007.
“The complementary and supportive cultures of Daifuku and Webb will strengthen operations for both companies and help us grow internationally,” said Katsumi Takeuchi, president and CEO of Daifuku. “Daifuku has built its business with the idea that production and procurement should be near its customers, and the Webb acquisition further supports this goal.”
Daifuku has positioned Webb as a new core business within the Daifuku group. Daifuku Executive Vice-President Masaki Hojo is acting as the chairman and co-CEO of Webb, along with Susan M. Webb, Webb’s president and co-CEO and granddaughter of founder Jervis B. Webb.
Daifuku and Webb have little overlap in the customers they serve and in the products they offer. Both companies are material handling systems manufacturers and have enjoyed a long-term technological partnership since 1957. Webb also brings many unique strengths, including its well-known reputation in the United States, a wealth of labor resources in North America and offshore, and strong customer relationships. Daifuku plans to expand its business and improve performance by effectively utilizing the management resources of the two companies.
Founded in 1919, Webb is recognized as a global leader in material handling systems. The company played an important role in developing the rivetless chain conveyor to move automobile bodies through the assembly and finishing process. This single product revolutionized industrial production after Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford first implemented the technology in the early 1920s. Chain conveyors still remain one of Webb’s leading products today. In addition, Webb now provides airport baggage handling systems, automatic guided vehicles, automated storage and retrieval systems and other products for the automotive, manufacturing, production and air transportation industries.
“The acquisition of Webb by Daifuku allows us to continue to pursue strong growth, both domestically and internationally, while maintaining our current operating structure and management team,” said Ms. Webb. “Webb has built an excellent reputation over almost 90 years, and we are committed to continuing that legacy.”
About Daifuku Co., Ltd.
For 70 years, Daifuku, a public company traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and headquartered in Osaka, Japan, has focused on material handling – the movement of finished goods and work-in-progress. Daifuku’s world-class systems lead the industry by combining conveying, storage, sorting, picking and controls in a global capacity. Daifuku’s products serve customers in a range of industries and countries, with non-Japanese sales accounting for 50 percent of its total sales, by developing unique, cutting-edge systems for each customer. Daifuku assists customers from planning to proposal, design, manufacturing, installation, after-sales service and facility retrofits.
About Jervis B. Webb Company
Jervis B. Webb Company is a world leader in developing innovative material handling technology and systems. The privately owned corporation specializes in the design, engineering, installation and support of integrated systems used in the automotive, airport, beverage, warehousing and manufacturing industries. Webb is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., with manufacturing locations in Harbor Springs and Boyne City, Mich.; Carlisle, S.C.; Canada; India; and China.