Mitsubishi Nichiyu Confirms It’s in Talks to Acquire UniCarriers

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s forklift unit confirmed it’s in talks to buy rival UniCarriers Corp. in a move that would challenge industry leader Toyota Industries Corp.

The unit, Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift Co., is in discussions on terms with UniCarriers shareholders, the company said Monday in a statement.

The Nikkei newspaper reported the deal earlier Monday, saying the Mitsubishi unit will pay more than 100 billion yen ($815 million). A basic agreement will be reached in July, with a final pact agreed to later in the year, the Nikkei said.

A takeover would create the world’s third-biggest producer of forklift trucks. Combined, sales of the Mitsubishi Heavy unit and UniCarriers total more than 400 billion yen a year. The Toyota Motor Corp. affiliate and German’s Kion Group AG are the world’s biggest and second-biggest producers.

Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift generated sales of 260 billion yen for the financial year ended March 31. UniCarriers, a Nissan Motor Co. and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. forklift venture, had sales of 175 billion yen in the year ended March 2014, according to its website.

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