07/12/2006 - 06:00 am

Oshkosh Completes JLG Acquisition

With the approval of its shareholders, Oshkosh, Wis.-based Oshkosh Truck Corp. has completed the acquisition of JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa. Purchased for $3.2 billion, JLG has become Oshkosh's largest business segment and is expected to increase Oshkosh's net sales to $6 billion in fiscal 2007.

At the completion of the merger, Bill Lasky, JLG's chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer, announced that he was leaving the company. Lasky, who joined the company in 1999 as president and chief operating officer, was integral in positioning JLG as a leader in the lifting equipment industry. While at the helm of JLG, Lasky acquired Gradall and Omniquip and made a significant deal with Caterpillar to produce its telehandlers.

In his place, Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh's chairman, president, and chief operating officer, has appointed Oshkosh's executive vice president and chief financial officer, Charles L. Szews, to serve as interim president of JLG and lead the integration process. Szews will continue to act in his current capacity at Oshkosh Truck. The company expects several key executives at JLG to remain with the company, including Craig E. Paylor, senior vice president of sales and marketing; Peter L. Bonafede, senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management; and Wayne P. MacDonald, senior vice president of engineering.

According to Bohn, the integration of JLG is a top priority to Oshkosh. “Our appointment of Charlie Szews as JLG's interim president reflects that importance,” he said. “Furthermore, we are excited to have a large group of key JLG executives remain with us to continue running the business while we collectively work together to realize cost synergies and operational improvements in a global market," Bohn said.

Szews said that the cross-functional collaboration successfully used by Oshkosh to integrate companies will also be at work in the JLG integration. “We have eight operational teams, with members from both Oshkosh and JLG, leading the integration initiative and focused on specific near- and long-term objectives,” he said. “Planning is well underway, and we are pleased with initial progress.”

Szews added that Oshkosh Truck is enlisting external consulting resources in select areas to spur velocity and provide expertise in effective integration. “The similar cultures and shared values of our organizations are integral to this process, and we expect they will enhance productivity throughout the integration process," he said.

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