Caterpillar has signed an agreement to acquire Swedish group Johan Walter Berg, including its core brand Berg Propulsion, which manufactures mechanically and electrically driven propulsion systems and marine controls for ships.
According to Caterpillar, the acquisition will help the company provide complete packaged marine propulsion systems, rather than selling only engines and generators.
Berg Propulsion has been designing and producing heavy-duty marine thrusters and controllable pitch propellers since 1929, and its systems are used in maritime applications that require precise manoeuvring and positioning.
Caterpillar’s vice president of marine and petroleum power Tom Frake said that with the acquisition, the company’s team will now be able to offer support to marine operators for a complete, optimised propulsion package, including bow thrusters, gearboxes and shaft alternators.
"In addition, Berg’s expertise, focus on maximising customers’ uptime and minimising operation cost aligns well with Caterpillar’s value proposition," Frake said.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013 pending final regulatory approvals.
With the completion of the acquisition, Berg will be integrated into the Caterpillar Marine and Petroleum Power Division, which provides diesel and natural gas engines for the generation, control and supply of mechanical and electric power to the marine and petroleum industries.
The deal will also see Berg’s thrusters, propellers and control systems rebranded as Caterpillar products.
Berg chief executive officer Håkan Svensson said the company has served the marine industry for 101 years.
"We look forward to developing and providing an even greater portfolio of products and services for ship owners around the world," Svensson said.