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Tadano
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Tadano acquires Waterland

4. January 2018 | Comments (0)

Tadano has acquired its Benelux distributor Waterland Trading in a deal agreed just before Christmas and concluded on Tuesday.

The company is now restructuring Waterland’s Dutch and Belgian operations into two independent Tadano subsidiaries, operating as Tadano Nederland and Tadano Belgium. The two companies had combined revenues in 2017 of just under €26 million. The move is said to be part of the Japanese manufacturer's objective to become the market leading crane manufacturer.

The managing directors of the new companies are Waterland’s managing director Jakob Wijnker, and Rolf Sonntag managing director sales, marketing and human resources at Tadano Faun. Further details of the transaction have not yet been disclosed.

Established in 1991, Waterland Trading began operating in Broek in Waterland, north Netherlands, where it sold used telescopic cranes. In 1998 the company became the exclusive dealer for Tadano. A site was then added in Diest, central Belgium in 2003, and Waterland became a dealer for Unic spider cranes in the Benelux region. Today the company employs 25.

Tadano said: "Tadano Faun is proud to confirm that thanks to the restructuring, the company can expect simpler and faster processes, now that all the companies involved are part of the same group and the business as in the case of the Belgian market can be handled directly. At the same time, Tadano Faun is highlighting its strong commitment to the very strong Dutch and Belgian markets, as reflected in the plans for expansion of future business in these two markets."

Vertikal Comment

This looks like a good move for Tadano, as long as it maintains or steps up the customer service ethos. An independent distributor has only thing going for it – (apart perhaps from the exclusivity to a totally brilliant product, although the days of massive product differentiation are largely behind us) – customer service and support that buyers want as part of the package. Manufacturers do not always understand the ‘retail’ side of the business where support and service must be maintained regardless of sales volume for new products. This should of course be covered by higher revenues of spare parts, service, repairs and used equipment trading.

Tadano needs to add to its European distribution network if it is to move forward, the company has some solid experience with running wholly owned distribution operations, such as in the USA where it has been exceptional successful. In Europe the company acquired its UK distributor - Cranes UK -in 2014 and it could be said that the ‘jury is still out’ on whether the business has become any better or stronger as a result. With the addition of Waterland the retail side of the business becomes a more substantial element of Tadano Faun, which should justify an increased focus and resources for this side of the business, so that it can fully exploit and benefit from the opportunities in this area.
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