Scaffolding and access producer Bil-Jax has announced that effective July 24, 2008 it has been acquired by the U.S. subsidiary of Haulotte Group, SA. Haulotte, a French manufacturer of rough terrain forklifts and aerial work platforms, has made strides to break into the North and South American marketplaces in the last several years.

“We have taken the next natural step of growth and together can offer an increasingly exciting set of access solutions for consumers, while becoming better positioned to compete in the access market,” said Jeff Ott, chief executive officer of Bil-Jax. “We believe this alliance with Haulotte Group will deliver superior value, better choices, and more innovation to our customers and industry partners. Additionally, it will increase products offerings and create a position outside of the U.S.”

The acquisition will assist Haulotte to further develop its business, said Alexandre Saubot, Haulotte Group’s COO. “This will allow us to strengthen our worldwide position, increase our product offerings, and establish a manufacturing presence in North America.”

Synergies will be focused in four main areas, a press release announced: scale economics driven by Haulotte’s strong market position for aerial work platforms and Bil-Jax’s 60 year history as a North American supplier for scaffolding and niche aerial work platforms; integration of engineering talent and resources to accelerate innovation and product development; streamlining operations through increased purchasing power and elimination of redundant costs, and; providing a complete access solution for customers in product and support areas.

Both companies are currently developing a plan focusing on the integration of the combined business. Haulotte Group anticipates that this integration will be completed at the end of year 2008. In the interim, both companies will continue to provide products and services to their customer base.