Caterpillar sells part of its Australian Bucyrus business for $400 mn

Caterpillar Inc, the world's biggest maker of earthmoving equipment, yesterday said that it sold a part of its Bucyrus distribution and support business to one of its Australian dealer for $400 million.

The CAT business of Bucyrus was bought by WesTrac Pty Ltd, a unit of Seven Group Holdings Ltd. The business covered the territory of Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. 

The sale comes after the Illinois-based company in December 2011 sold a part of its Bucyrus distribution business to the industrial division of Malaysia's Sime Darby, for about $360 million.

In November 2010, Caterpillar acquired mining equipment maker Bucyrus International for $8.6-billion in cash in order to expand its range of mining equipment. (See: Caterpillar to acquire mining equipment maker Bucyrus for $8.6 billion)

''The acquisition of the Bucyrus distribution and support business will enhance our leading position in the supply and service of heavy equipment to the mining and construction sectors in Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales,'' said Jim Walker, CEO of WesTrac Group.

''The Bucyrus product line and large installed base are a logical addition to our current range of Cat products and will provide us with significant opportunities for future growth with our mining customers,'' he added.

Caterpillar said that it is in discussions with companies in relation to the former Bucyrus distribution and support businesses in the WesTrac dealership territories in North Eastern China.

Caterpillar also is holding discussions with other Cat dealers that have mining activity in their territories and will continue to operate the former Bucyrus distribution business until the transitions have occurred in a given territory.