CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The parent company of Walker Machinery will hire about a dozen new employees over the next several months as part of its purchase of an underground mining equipment distribution and support business from Caterpillar Inc.
Walker and an affiliate, Whayne Supply, will also be hiring 38 former workers from Caterpillar's Bucyrus equipment division as part of the deal, said spokesman George Manahan.
Illinois-based Caterpillar announced that Whayne Supply co. and Cecil I. Walker Machinery Co. had acquired Caterpillar's Bucyrus equipment distribution and support business for their territories.
Whayne Supply and Walker Machinery are authorized Cat dealers in Kentucky, southern Indiana, southeastern Ohio and portions of West Virginia. Walker employs about 745 people in West Virginia, Manahan said.
Boyd Company LLC, a Louisville, Ky., parent of Whayne and Walker, said it has established Whayne-Walker Underground Mining as a new business unit to meet the distribution and support needs.
"Caterpillar and its dealers keep customers at the forefront of everything we do and that couldn't be more true for the global mining business today," said Steve Wunning, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for Resource Industries. "We are very pleased that Whayne Supply and Walker Machinery are going to play an integral role in what we believe is a high-growth industry."
A media advisory about the Bucyrus deal said it represents "a major investment in underground mining equipment" at a while when "some prognosticators are signaling the decline of the coal industry."
Monty Boyd, owner and CEO of Boyd Company LLC, stated, "We have been working closely with Caterpillar for several months to make this transition a success. This new business unit will be integrated into our current Whayne and Walker operations. We look forward to providing these new mining products and support in our area."
Caterpillar has announced similar transactions with other dealers over the last several months. Caterpillar continues to hold discussions with other Cat dealers that have mining activity in their territories and will continue to operate the Bucyrus distribution business until the transitions have occurred in a given territory.
Walker Machinery, based in Belle, had been run by the Walker family since 1959. In April 2010, the company completed the sale of its mining equipment business to Boyd Co.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.