Mergers and Acquisitions

Oshkosh Corp. to sell Geesink Norba Group; ARI acquires Virginia firm

Oshkosh Corp. to sell Geesink Norba Group

Oshkosh Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to sell the Geesink Norba Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh based in Emmeloord, The Netherlands, to Beverly Hills, Calif.-based investment firm Platinum Equity.

Oshkosh Corp. will retain ownership of its Romanian facility that supplies fabrications to both Geesink Norba Group and JLG Industries.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and normal closing conditions, is expected to close during the second half of Oshkosh Corp.’s fiscal year 2009.

ARI acquires Virginia firm

Milwaukee-based ARI Network Services Inc., a provider of electronic parts catalogs and related technology and services, is acquiring the assets of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Channel Blade Technologies Corp., a provider of web sites, lead management and marketing automation solutions in the marine and recreation vehicle markets.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Channel Blade’s customers will gain access to ARI’s e-commerce and website marketing capabilities.

ARI said its current customers will benefit from Channel Blade’s "fully integrated manufacturer and dealer lead generation and marketing automation solutions which shrink the sales cycle and turn more prospects into customers."

“ARI welcomes Channel Blade’s customers and employees to the ARI family,” said Roy W. Olivier, ARI’s President and CEO. “Channel Blade’s marine and RV market expertise, its lead generation platform and Footsteps marketing automation solution are great strengths. When combined with ARI’s proven solutions in the outdoor power, power sports and appliance markets including our WebsiteSmart Pro e-commerce platform, PartSmart electronic parts catalogs and other marketing services we create a win-win for both companies’ customers and employees.”

Olivier said that the acquisition is expected to add more than $3.5 million in revenue to ARI.

“The combined scale and more complete set of product and service offerings to the marine and RV markets will drive important competitive advantages for ARI and financial results for its shareholders," he said. "This is strategically a great fit for ARI and has substantial benefits for customers of both companies. Combining ARI with Channel Blade strengthens both product offerings and customer service across the power sports, outdoor power, marine and other equipment markets we serve."

Jon Lintvet, Channel Blade’s CEO, and Chuck Lewis, Channel Blade’s Founder and President, will both be a part of ARI’s management team.

“We are excited to join ARI and have the opportunity to continue working with our great customers while bringing them a greater breadth of services and innovation to help them in these challenging economic times,” said Lewis.

“Joining the ARI team provides the business with increased scale to accelerate innovation and enhance the value and scope of services provided to our customers at over 1,600 dealer locations” said Lintvet.


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