A second Japanese mining equipment maker is positioning itself for a recovery in commodities, after Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. followed its larger competitor Komatsu Ltd. in announcing what would be its biggest-ever acquisition.
Hitachi Construction, the world’s top maker of giant excavators, has offered A$689 million ($529 million) to buy Australian component maker Bradken Ltd. In July, Komatsu agreed to purchase U.S.-based rival Joy Global Inc. for a record $2.89 billion, signaling its optimism that demand for diggers and loaders will rebound after years of declining commodity prices.
“Miners have put the brakes on too hard,” Shinji Kuroda, an analyst at Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd., said by phone from Tokyo. “So the rebound will come at some point even if commodity prices continue to slump. The current size of demand for machines and parts has fallen below sustainable levels. The time for a recovery is coming.”
Tokyo-based Hitachi Construction said Monday it’s offering A$3.25 a share, or a 34 percent premium on Bradken’s closing price on Friday. The Newcastle, New South Wales-based firm saw its stock surge 32 percent in Sydney to A$3.20 after its board recommended the deal.
The acquisition will enable Hitachi Construction to supplement its parts business for mining equipment and boost earnings, according to a statement. Nomura Securities Co. reckons the deal is likely to boost profit by about a tenth.
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