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CATERPILLAR INDUSTRIAL AND MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES AGREE TO EXPLORE FORMATION OF A JOINT VENTURE FOR LIFT TRUCKS

 CATERPILLAR INDUSTRIAL AND MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
 AGREE TO EXPLORE FORMATION OF A JOINT VENTURE FOR LIFT TRUCKS
 PEORIA, Ill., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Industrial Inc. (CII), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), Tokyo, Japan, have signed a "memorandum of understanding" agreeing to explore the formation of a company to design, manufacture, and distribute lift trucks, other materials handling equipment, and related parts and components.
 The proposed venture would distribute and support both Mitsubishi and Caterpillar brands of lift trucks and other products through the parties' respective distribution networks outside Japan.
 In the United States, operations would continue at MHI's manufacturing facilities in Houston, Texas, and at CII's current headquarters location in Mentor, Ohio. Outside the United States, product would be manufactured in Almere, the Netherlands, as well as at other locations under license and contract manufacturing agreements.
 Over time, the proposed company would design, manufacture, and market a new line of products that would be sold through the joint venture dealer network.
 Within the next several months, the parties expect to determine the structure of the proposed joint venture, including the level of investment and ownership. It is presently anticipated that MHI will own up to 80 percent of the equity of the proposed joint venture company.
 Kei Matsuda, general manager of General Machinery + Component HQ of MHI, said: "We are proud of the reputation for quality and competitiveness that our products, including our lift trucks, enjoy throughout the world. Thus, we are pleased with this opportunity to explore with our longtime business partner the viability of cooperating in the fields of lift truck manufacture and distribution. The proposed joint venture will allow us to maintain or improve product quality and increase product support to the customers in the field."
 CII President Richard A. Benson said: "Our goal is for the new company to be quickly recognized as the industry leader by drawing upon the strengths of the two partners -- and their respective distribution networks worldwide -- so as to anticipate and meet customer needs. We believe a new joint venture company in the materials handling equipment business would broaden our successful business relationship."
 MHI and Caterpillar Inc. currently design and manufacture various models of construction equipment through Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd., a joint venture company which was established in 1963. Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi Ltd. is headquartered in Tokyo.
 Caterpillar Industrial Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of electric powered and internal combustion engine powered lift trucks and automated guided vehicles for industrial, warehousing, construction, and cargo handling applications. Its line of 96 different models is sold worldwide through a network of independent dealers.
 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is a leading manufacturer of a variety of products. The company manufactures and markets internal combustion engine powered lift trucks worldwide.
 -0- 12/18/91
 /CONTACT: Pam Schwaller of Caterpillar Industrial, 216-357-4478, or Dick Stober of Caterpillar Inc., 309-675-5548/
 (CAT) CO: Caterpillar Industrial Inc.; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. ST: Ohio, Illinois IN: MAC SU: JVN


JT -- NY022 -- 3338 12/18/91 10:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1991
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