10 April 1998

Matbro acquisition would give perfect lift for John Deere

By Andy Collings

TELEHANDLER manufacturer Matbro looks set to become part of John Deere. While John Deere refuses to comment whether a letter of intent to buy Matbro has as yet been signed or not, it admits that talks with Matbros parent, Powerscreen International, are under way.

A possible stumbling block in the process could be a report from Powerscreens auditor, KPMG. The company was brought in following the announcement in January that Powerscreen was taking a £46.7m provision for losses at Matbro for the year to Mar 31.

These losses were largely attributed to Matbro, with mispricing and other financial anomalies cited as the reasons.

It will also be recalled that Matbro currently manufactures John Deere engined and badged telescopic loaders under licence. It follows that the purchase of Matbro would further enhance market penetration for John Deere in this particular line.

According to the city, Matbro is unlikely to be the only Powerscreen subsidiary to be placed on the market as the company endeavours to recover its unexpected losses. &#42

Matbro sold to John Deere? Production could all be in this green livery.