Finning Expands in South America

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Finning International said Nov. 26 it would buy Caterpillar dealerships in Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia for an undisclosed amount.

Finning, Vancouver, B.C., No. 17 on the RER 100, said the dealerships are expected to have combined annual sales of U.S. $70 million in 2002 and will add slightly to Finning's earnings this year.

Finning said its operations in South America now span four countries, including Chile, with 22 branches and 2,264 employees, and sales of nearly U.S. $359 million.

The company also agreed to sell substantially all of its conditional sales contract portfolio in Canada to Caterpillar Financial Services Limited. The proceeds of the sale will be approximately U.S. $64 million.

Additionally, Finning entered into a securitization program for its accounts receivable portfolio in Canada. The program size is a maximum of U.S. $77 million. Finning has sold U.S. $19 million as an initial amount under the program, and is expecting to sell additional amounts in early 2003.

Commenting on both transactions, Doug Whitehead, president and CEO of Finning said, “The sale of the loan portfolio will generate close to C$100 million (U.S. $64 million) in cash that will be applied in the short term to reduce debt. Ultimately, the funds will be redeployed into new acquisitions, growth initiatives and other opportunities to increase value to our shareholders.”

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