Trimble and Caterpillar to form joint control venture

Trimble and Caterpillar are to form a joint venture to develop and manufacture electronic guidance and control products.

Building on six years of working together, Trimble and Caterpillar now intend to form a new joint venture to develop and manufacture 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. The 50-50 jointly-owned venture will develop machine control products that use site design information combined with accurate positioning technology to automatically control bulldozer blades and other machine tools.

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. This 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.