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Manitowoc could split cranes and food service

Manitowoc ice makers are well-known in commercial kitchens around the world

USA: Manitowoc is being pushed to separate its food service and crane manufacturing businesses.

According to reports by the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, shares in the company jumped more than 9% this morning trading Monday after investor Carl Icahn, and activist shareholder and investor, bought a 7.7% stake in the company. Icahn is the majority shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, a diversified holding company.

Well known in the refrigeration industry as a manufacturer of commercial ice makers, Manitowoc began life in 1902 as the Manitowoc Dry Dock Company, a shipbuilding and ship repair firm. In 1925 it commenced production of cranes and formed Manitowoc Foodservice after WWll.

Its crane division is reported to have been affected by sluggish demand, achieving sales of $2.51bn last year. The foodservice equipment division achieved sales of $1.54bn in the same period.

Earlier this year Relational Investors, another activist investor, also called for a splitting up of the business after acquiring an 8.5% stake in the company.

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