Time to acquire Ruthmann

By Euan Youdale06 January 2021

US-based Time Manufacturing Company is acquiring Ruthmann, with the sale set to complete in the first quarter of this year.

Under the deal, Time, manufacturer of Versalift vehicle mounted platforms, will acquire Ruthmann’s truck mounted Steiger and Ecoline brands, as well as its Bluelift tracked platform products. 

In addition to Versalift platforms and digger derricks, Time also produces the Aspen Aerials line of underbridge inspection units and the BrandFX series of fiberglass truck bodies. In 2017, Time was aquired by Sterling Group from then owners the O’Flatherty family. Following that, in 2019, the company re-branded, shifting emphasis to its globally-recognised Versalift brand, and is now known as Versalift International - a Time manufacturing company.

Headquartered in Gescher-Hochmoor, Germany, Ruthmann has a distinguished history in truck mounted platform manufacturing in Europe, and has recently set its sights on North America with the acquisition of US-based distributor ReachMaster. The company previously acquired Bluelift, in Italy, a manufacturer of spider lifts.

Rolf Kulawik, managing director of Ruthmann explained to AI that the deal would work in both company’s favours, thanks to complementary product offerings and a history of collaboration. In 2010 Ruthmann bought Versalift Germany and has since then acted as a distributor of Versalift’s line of van mounted models in the German, Swiss and Austrian markets. 

He added, “It’s really exciting to have this new situation, for example with the new markets for us like the US where we only just have a start-up with Ruthman ReachMaster, since August.”

In addition, Kulawik said this was an ideal moment for Ruthmann’s owners to sell the company. Heinrich Winkelmann and Heinz-Jürgen Buss became owners and managing directors of the company in 2003. In 2010 they handed over the reins to Kulawik but remained the owners of the company.

“They both have a six at the beginning of their age and say they are ready to stop,” said Kulawik, “Now is a good time as Ruthmann has 11 years of great development and increasing revenue, meaning it is an opportunity to sell the company with a good result for them.”

Kulawik could not confirm the value of the deal, and said that while the standard competition reviews concerning the aquisition were underway, there was little else that could be added in terms of the future organisation of the two compaines. “Time and Ruthman will continue as independant companies until the deal is complete, we can’t do anything else.”

Speaking to AI, Time Manufacturing confirmed there were no plans to make changes to staff, manufacturing or distribution, rather there was an ambition to leverage both companies’ strengths in these areas to provide greater customer provision and support.

The company said the acquisition tied into its global growth plan of the last three years. It added that no definite details were available yet concerning future branding but explained that Time, as a holding company, allows its well known brand names to take centre stage; for example: Versalift International, a Time Manufacturing company. “Ruthmann is an incredibly powerful brand, so I would imagine the brand would be around for the foreseable future. We are looking more at the organisational efficiencies that will come from the two companies working together.”

Time went on to say that feedback from both companies, concerning the deal, had been positive thus far. “We are incredibly excited, this will have a big impact on the industry. Our relationship is really strong and it has been plain sailing since we started speaking to each other about this.”

The deal is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter.

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