Global forklift sales leader Toyota Industries Corp. (TICO) will acquire systems integrator Bastian Solutions LLC and create a new division that sells e-commerce, labor-cost, and productivity solutions for the North American material handling market, the companies said Thursday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
TICO, based in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, said it will market Bastian's services through a new division called Toyota Advanced Logistics Solutions (TALS) that will operate separately from the forklift business. TALS and the forklift business will collaborate as needed, TICO said. TICO is the parent company of forklift vendor Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA).
TICO said it has plans to expand the new division, calling Indianapolis, Ind.-based Bastian "the first group company in the TALS operative structure, until further plans for strategic growth are announced."
TICO said it launched the venture in response to changing dynamics in the North American material handling market that have created demand for new forms of logistics solutions beyond forklifts. By launching TALS, TICO intends to build a stronger presence in the area of advanced logistics technology, and to share that expertise with both its Toyota and Raymond brand forklift dealers, according to a statement from Brett Wood, president and CEO of TMHNA.
The strategy is similar to that of rival lift truck vendor Kion Group AG, which eight months ago paid $2.1 billion to buy Atlanta-based systems integrator Dematic Corp., saying it wanted to expand its catalog of forklift trucks and sell a wider array of fully automated material handling solutions.
TICO said it named industry veteran Mike Romano president and CEO of the new division. Romano will take over on April 3, resigning from his current role as president and CEO of Chicago-based industry supplier Associated Integrated Supply Chain Solutions.
No additional management changes are planned for Bastian, which will continue to be led by CEO Bill Bastian II and President Aaron Jones.