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25 Sep 06. Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL), a global leader in aviation electronics and communications, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Anzus, Inc., a privately owned developer of software that enables high-speed tactical data link processing and sensor correlation for the U.S. Department of Defense as well as foreign governments. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Rockwell Collins is acquiring all outstanding shares of Anzus in a cash transaction. Approximately 50 Anzus employees will join Rockwell Collins. With annual revenues of approximately $12 million, the acquisition will not materially affect Rockwell Collins’ earnings for the fiscal years ending September 30, 2006 and 2007.

Sep 06. Volvo increases Nissan stake. AB Volvo says it just bought another 6% of the shares in Nissan Diesel from Nissan Motor for approximately SEK 500m (€53.9m or £36.0m) which equals ¥ 439 a share. Volvo now owns 19% of the shares in the Japanese truck manufacturer. AB Volvo has also bought all 57.5 million preference shares in Nissan Diesel from Nissan Motor and Japanese banks for a total of SEK 3.5bn (€370m or £252m) equal to an average price of ¥ 341 a share. Overall this equals 46.5% of the shares in Nissan Diesel. ‘We see possibilities for gains between Nissan Diesel and the Group’s other truck companies, but before we proceed, we want to be the clearly largest owner in the company,’ says Volvo boss Leif Johansson. (Source: Transport News Brief)

26 Sep 06. There could be few better illustrations of how the Midwest’s economy is doing than the backlog in Caterpillar’s customer order book for the 797B off-highway truck. This massive vehicle, whose tyres stand taller than a human, is used to carry excavated rock hundreds of tonnes at a time from dig sites at some of the world’s largest mines. Mining is booming globally, thanks to historically high comMODity prices and Chinese demand for metals. Demand for the 797B is so strong that Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, has been struggling to keep up. A customer ordering one of these beasts today will have to wait up to a year for delivery. A robust order book is also the case at Joy Global, a Milwaukee company that is one of the world’s largest producers of surface mining and underground coal extraction equipment. And at Cummins, an Indiana-based maker of diesel and petrol engines. John Deere, based in Moline, Illinois, is enjoying record profits on sales of its green and yellow tractors, thanks to buoyant farm incomes worldwide. Such success stories stand in stark contrast to the fortunes of the US automotive industry, which has long been the backbone of the region’s heavy concentration of manufacturing. The Midwest’s economy derives about 53 per cent more than the national average of personal income from manufacturing, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

21 Sep 06. MAN’s €9.6bn ($12.1bn) hostile bid for Scania comes at the wrong point in the truck cycle and will allow competitors to steal market share, according to rival chief executives of truckmakers. In a series of interviews with the FT at an international truck show in Hanover, managers expressed their surprise at the move, which comes at the peak of the cycle when companies’ valuations are normally more fully priced. Andreas Renschler, head of commercial vehicles at the world’s largest truckmaker, DaimlerChrysler, said: “In my opinion you should buy in bad times and sell in good times.” Kerry McDonagh, head of sales and marketing at DAF, the European truckmaker owned by Paccar of the US, said: “If MAN and Scania are busy bringing themselves together, that strengthens our business and could allow us to raise our market share.” Paolo Monferino, head of Iveco, the truckmaker owned by Fiat, said: “When you integrate two companies you have disruption and in the short term you are going to focus on the company and lose a bit of sight of your customers.” The bid for Scania by the Ge

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