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Previously, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) had only sold engines and generators to its marine customers, but with today's announcement that it was acquiring Johan Walter Berg, a Swedish manufacturer of driven propulsion systems and marine controls for ships, the heavy equipment manufacturer said it would now be able to offer its customers a complete marine propulsion package system.
In business since 1929, Berg will become part of Caterpillar's marine and petroleum power division, which supplies diesel and natural gas engines for the generation, control, and supply of mechanical and electric power for the marine and petroleum industries. As Caterpillar's fortunes have turned south with the decline of the mining industry, bolstering its marine division will provide a welcome respite.
The division's vice president, Tom Frake, said: "Berg is one of the most highly regarded brands in the marine industry. Our team will now be able to provide worldwide Caterpillar support to marine operators for a complete, optimized propulsion package, including bow thrusters, gear boxes and shaft alternators."
Berg's systems will be rebranded as Caterpillar soon after the deal closes, which is expected in the third quarter 2013, pending final regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Shares of Caterpillar closed the day $0.23 higher at $82.72 per share.