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WesTrac is expanding into the Chinese market with the purchase of some of Caterpillar’s Chinese assets.
WesTrac is expanding into the Chinese market with the purchase of some of Caterpillar’s Chinese assets.

WesTrac expands in China

Mining services company WesTrac will purchase Caterpillar Global Mining’s distribution and support businesses operations in north eastern China.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, WesTrac said it expected to begin providing sales, service and support for expanded mining products in these territories after closing the sale.

The $142.7 million acquisition will be subject to Chinese regulatory approval and should be completed on 30 June, 2014.

The purchase is not expected to impact WesTrac’s earnings per share in the current financial year. The company said it would add to earnings from next year.

The acquisition of Caterpillar’s former Bucyrus assets is consistent with Seven Group’s move into underground mining services, as WesTrac moves to cover above and underground mining services.

Last year Seven Group purchased the equivalent Bucyrus assets from Caterpillar in Australia and the Group has been in discussions with Caterpillar over the Chinese assets since that time.

“As underground mining accounts for more than 80 per cent of all coal production in China, the acquisition of this business will significantly increase the opportunities for WesTrac’s future growth in China,” said Seven Group Holdings chief executive Don Voelte.

Upon completion of the deal, WesTrac said it would increase staff numbers by approximately 80 employees, including 37 Caterpillar employees and contractors in China.

“Because China produces almost half the world’s coal – with a forecast to grow – there is tremendous opportunity for both Caterpillar and WesTrac to partner and grow alongside our mining customers in the country,’’ Caterpillar’s resource industries group president Steve Wunning said.

Sources: The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald

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