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Trimble and Caterpillar to Form Joint Venture for Machine Control Technologies
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2001 - Building on six years of success working together, Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) announced today their intention to form a new joint venture to develop and manufacture advanced electronic guidance and control products for earthmoving machines in the construction, mining and waste industries. The companies are working toward a definitive agreement and the joint venture should begin operations in early 2002.
As part of the 50-50 jointly-owned venture, both Trimble and Caterpillar intend to contribute selected existing electronic products that combine Global Positioning System, laser, wireless communications, computing and software technologies into rugged on-board packages that improve productivity for the mining and construction markets. Under the proposed financial terms, each party will contribute approximately $11 million to form the joint venture. In addition, Trimble will transfer certain machine control technology in exchange for approximately $22 million from the joint venture.
The joint venture will develop machine control products that use site design information combined with accurate positioning technology to automatically control dozer blades and other machine tools. This leading edge machine control technology will combine historical Trimble positioning technology with capability gained through its acquisition of Spectra Precision.
The companies intend for the joint venture to be the exclusive supplier to Trimble and Caterpillar, who will each market, distribute, service and support the products using both companies' independent distribution channels. Caterpillar will offer products as a factory-installed option, while Trimble will continue to address the aftermarket with products for earthmoving machines from Caterpillar and other equipment manufacturers.
"The way heavy-duty construction equipment is guided and controlled is going through an evolutionary period. The joint venture between Caterpillar and Trimble will accelerate the development process and keep both companies on the forefront of the latest technology-based products," said Mark Pflederer, Cat Electronics Business Unit manager. "Based on our experience in the mining industry, we believe that customers will benefit from these products through increased earthmoving job efficiency of up to 30 percent, reduced mistakes and more accurate finished earthmoving projects."
"The combined strength of Trimble's positioning technologies and Caterpillar's leadership in heavy-duty construction equipment put the joint venture on the leading edge of 3D machine control," said Steven W. Berglund, Trimble's president and CEO. "The joint venture creates a platform for the future and a catalyst for increased productivity in the construction market."
"Trimble and Caterpillar already have a track record of success. Our previous development of guidance products with Trimble has demonstrated that our combined global workforce can work together very effectively and efficiently," said David McKie, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Component Products and Control Systems Division. "This joint venture is a key part of CAT Electronics growth strategy to expand its electronics business."
About Cat Electronics and Caterpillar Inc.
Cat Electronics provides leading edge technologies for the heavy-duty industry to enhance the value of Caterpillar machines and engines. Based in Mossville, Illinois, the group is located in five facilities, including Europe and Asia. Cat Electronics is comprised of more than 800 highly skilled engineers and professionals who specialize in the design, test and marketing of electronic systems, information systems, software, cabs and components.
Caterpillar Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, the company posted 2000 sales and revenues of $20.18 billion.
For more information about Caterpillar, visit www.cat.com
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808
Media Contact: Rachele Kunz of Caterpillar: 309-675-5813
See FAQ regarding this joint venture.
Media Contact: Investor Relations of Trimble: 408-481-6914
Certain statements made in this press release are forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to certain risks and uncertainties, including the ability to reach a definitive agreement and finalize financial terms for the joint venture, obtain any required regulatory or other approvals and achieve market acceptance of product offerings from the proposed joint venture. Among other things, economic trends and additional competitive issues may have an adverse effect on the results and growth of the proposed joint venture. These and other risks are detailed from time to time in reports filed with the SEC, including Trimble and Caterpillar's respective quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and its annual report on Form 10-K