Caterpillar to sell part of Bucyrus to Malaysia's Sime Darby for $360 mn

Caterpillar Inc, the world's biggest maker of earthmoving equipment, yesterday said it would sell a part of its Bucyrus distribution business to the industrial division of Malaysia's Sime Darby, for about $360 million.

The sale includes the Sime Darby Industrial Cat dealerships operated by Hastings Deering in Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

The deal marks the first of several that are expected to move the product distribution and support of former Bucyrus machinery to Cat dealers that support mining customers around the world.

Caterpillar said that it also intends to start selling former Bucyrus mining products through Sime Darby's other Cat dealerships.

Following Caterpillar's $8.6-billion cash acquisition of mining equipment maker Bucyrus International last year (See: Caterpillar to acquire mining equipment maker Bucyrus for $8.6 billion), which had in the preceeding year, bought a mining unit of Terex Corporation, the world's third biggest maker of heavy earth-moving equipment for $1.3 billion in cash (See: Bucyrus to acquire Terex mining unit for $1.3 billion)

Following the Bucyrus acquisition, Illinois-based Caterpillar made two key strategic decisions - utilise the Cat brand, and use its own dealers who would be best suited to sell and support former Bucyrus mining products.

Caterpillar is currently holding discussions with other Cat dealers that have mining activites in their territories. Caterpillar said that it will continue to operate the former Bucyrus distribution business in a given dealer's territory until the post-merger transitions have taken place.