Joy Vows to Do `Right Thing' as Takeover Talk Persists

Joy Global Inc., the world’s biggest producer of underground mining machines, may seek acquisitions and would do “the right thing” for shareholders if it receives third-party interest.

While Joy is focused on integrating past deals, the company may seek purchases after accumulating more cash, Chief Executive Officer Michael Sutherlin said at a Barclays Plc investor conference today. Reports that Milwaukee-based Joy is a takeover target are “constantly in the news,” with speculation about General Electric Co. in the past and Sweden’s Atlas Copco AB today, according to a William Blair & Co. report today.

“Rumors have come and gone and rumors will come and go,” Sutherlin said during his presentation today. “We work for our shareholders and are going to do the right thing for shareholders. Whatever third parties want to do, we will do the proper evaluation and make the right decision.”

Joy Global rose 2.7 percent to $65.25 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 2.3 percent this year.

“If anybody should be consolidating this industry, we’ve demonstrated our ability to add value, and we should be the guys doing that,” Sutherlin said. The company is “focused” on integrating its acquisitions of LeTourneau Technologies Inc. in June 2011 and International Mining Machinery Holdings Ltd. last year.