Tanfield Group Considers Selling Snorkel

The U.K.-based owner of aerial work platform manufacturer Snorkel, the Tanfield Group, has placed the Snorkel business on the sale block, and is fielding interest from potential buyers.

“The company has received a number of approaches from credible parties who have expressed interest in making a strategic acquisition of our global aerial work platform business division in order to enter this recovering market,” Tanfield officials said in a statement. “The board is considering these approaches and will provide an update in due course. Any disposal of this business would be subject to shareholder approval. There can be no certainty that any negotiations will result in an agreement to dispose of this business.”

The statement was part of Tanfield's recently released trading statement made prior to the quiet period before announcing results for the financial year, which Tanfield expects to release in April. Revenues for the Snorkel business in the third quarter grew month on month, the company said, noting the balance sheet broke even in October 2012, the first time since 2008.

The Tanfield Group reports that in the fourth quarter, it worked to maintain its position in order to respond to improving opportunities in 2013. The focus was on restocking the key markets of Australia and Japan, as well as on inventory management to minimize working capital. Overall revenues and operating losses for the second half were comparable with those in the first half. The resulting inventory profile has put the company into a strong position to respond to the 2013 buying season beginning in the second quarter.

Tanfield said end markets continue to recover on the back of replacement demand and the company has received significant order forecasts from key customers, supporting a positive outlook for 2013. The board expects to achieve its first full-year profit since 2007.