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Ingersoll May Set Bobcat Loose

The industrial conglomerate is mulling the sale or spinoff of the business.
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Industrial conglomerate

Ingersoll-Rand

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is mulling the sale or spinoff of its Bobcat and construction-related businesses.

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The company said in a statement Tuesday that it is exploring strategic alternatives for the businesses, which collectively had $2.6 billion in revenue in 2006. Ingersoll-Rand's total revenue for the year was $11.41 billion.

The Bobcat business makes utility vehicles, while the construction business includes utility equipment and attachment products.

"Our Bobcat, Utility Equipment and Attachments businesses represent world-class operations with exceptional people, products and brands; however, these businesses no longer fit Ingersoll Rand's long-term strategy," said Herbert Henkel, chairman, president and chief executive of Ingersoll-Rand.

The company said it is seeking to position itself away from a heavy-machinery profile and toward a more diversified industrial focus, consisting of climate control, industrial and security businesses.

Ingersoll-Rand also boosted its buyback program to $4 billion from $2 billion. The timing of the buybacks will depend on the disposition of the businesses.