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Gaps in merged companies' line-ups provide big opportunities Case poised for takeover spree

Plant

CASE is eager to make more acquisitions for its construction portfolio, after its recent £2.6 billion merger with New Holland.

Jean-Pierre Rosso, chairman of the merged company, has hinted at further buys. He said: 'We could have more product offerings on the construction equipment side. And in financial services there are even greater opportunities for diversification.'

Although the as-yet-unnamed multi-brand company has a number of parallel products, there remains some significant gaps in the product line.

Neither New Holland nor Case has an articulated dump truck and both have made approaches to manufacturers.

New Holland and Case are set to maintain their distinct dealer networks, with the main consolidation to come from combined purchasing and supply, and from manufacturing in the longer term.

While there has been speculation about the future of the firms' Fiat- Hitachi and Case-Sumitomo joint ventures, Mr Rosso and New Holland chairman Umberto Quadrino are adamant the deal does not affect either arrangement.

Mr Rosso said that the backing of Fiat, which will own 71 per cent of the new company, would lead to opportunities for growth. He added: 'We have ambitions to be a bigger player in construction equipment.'

Case has also opened an IT centre in Ireland to co-ordinate the company's global sales, distribution and manufacturing systems. The Case Information Technology Centre in Navan will create 240 jobs over five years.