Konecranes Plc. stock symbol traded as OMX: KCR1V.
Konecranes Plc is a Finnish company, headquartered in Hyvinkää, Finland, which specialises in the manufacture and service of cranes and lifting equipment as well as the service of machine tools.
The company was initially a division of the Finnish company Kone, which began to manufacture cranes and hoists in the 1930s, but was spun off as an independent company in 1994 when KONE underwent extensive restructuring.
Early years with KONE, 1910-1994
Konecranes is a Corporate spin-off of Kone, which was founded in 1910. But it was not until in 1933 when KONE Corporation started to build sizeable electric overhead traveling cranes, mainly for the pulp and paper and power industry. Three years later it started to manufacture electric wire rope hoists.
In 1947 the company started to make harbor cranes and in the post-war economy the harbor cranes business line experienced strong growth. In the 1960s KCI Konecranes signed the first preventive maintenance contract with a customer.
In 1973 the company began to expand internationally and it bought the Norwegian company Wisbech-Refsum. In 1983 the company established R&M Materials Handling in Ohio, which was its first foothold in the US, and in 1986 the company acquired Verlinde of France. The organization was changed in 1988 and the crane operations were organized then into the KONE Cranes Division of KONE Corporation.
Lloyds British Testing (which had operations in the UK and Australia) was acquired in 1991 at which time the company started its first office in the UK. During the same year a large restructuring program was launched. Because of this, crane production facilities were cut from 19 to 4 by 1994.
KCI Konecranes, 1994-2006
KCI Konecranes was formed on 15 April 1994, when KONE Corporation group made some radical changes before it was listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. KONE kept its elevator business and sold others, including the operations of its crane division. Two years later also KCI Konecranes was listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange and has since that grown to become a constituent member of the benchmark OMX Helsinki 25 index.
In 1997, KCI Konecranes expanded into Germany by acquiring German MAN SWF Krantechnik. Later KCI Konecranes experienced high organic growth in Germany, and in 2000 it made several bolt-on acquisitions.
In 2002, KCI Konecranes made history in China: it was the first foreign crane company to receive a complete range of business licensees (including import and export). Also in Japan a milestone was achieved by establishing a joint venture agreement with Meidensha Corporation. After an acquisition of Swedish SMV Lifttrucks AB in 2004 reach stackers and lift trucks were added to the product range. A year later, KCI Konecranes acquired German R.STAHL AG’s material handling division, R.Stahl Fördertechnik and the following year MMH Holdings, Inc.
Stig Gustavson was the company’s first CEO from 1994 to 2005 and after which he continued as a chairman of the board.
The second CEO, Pekka Lundmark (2005–2015) joined KCI Konecranes in 2004, before that he had worked e.g. for Hackman and Nokia. In 2006 KCI Konecranes launched a new refocused and unified global master brand strategy and identity, and the “KCI” was dropped from the brand name and the slogan “Lifting Businesses™” was introduced.
In 2007 all rights to German straddle carrier manufacturer Consens Transport Systeme GmbH’s products were acquired and straddle carrier manufacturing was started. Other acquisitions included Norwegian Kongsberg Automation AS and Swedish Reftele Maskinservice AB.
In 2008 Konecranes produced about one in ten of the world’s cranes, of which around 80% are for use in factories and the remainder at ports. Konecranes wanted to increase its presence in the Japanese hoist market, and so it raised its share holding in Meiden Hoist System Company Ltd (MHS) from 49 to 65 percent. It also wanted to expand its activities in Spain so it acquired crane, hoist and service companies Eydimen 2000 S.L. and Ausió Sistemas de Elevación S.L. Other acquisitions of that year were made in Scandinavia and in the UK.
In 2009 Konecranes entered a new business segment—aluminum rail systems and manipulators—with two acquisitions. It also introduced an industrial crane, SMARTON®, which was said to be capable of reducing power consumption and energy cost by up to one third. Konecranes bought 65% of Sanma Crane manufacture Co. Ltd., one of the leading hoist and crane manufacturers in China.
In April 2015 CEO, Pekka Lundmark was nominated as the new CEO of Fortum. He was followed by Panu Routila who joined the company from Ahlström Capital where he had been president and CEO since 2008. In August 2015, Konecranes announced merger with US based Material Handling solutions company Terex. The merger was treated as “Merger of Equals”. However, on May 2016, Konecranes signed an agreement to acquire from Terex Corporation its Material Handling & Port Solutions segment against consideration consisting of cash and shares and to terminate the previously announced business combination agreement.