The LOVAT name is no more. Caterpillar has confirmed that the TBM supplier's new name is Caterpillar Tunneling Canada Corporation. The name change completes the machinery giant's acquisition of the LOVAT company announced in April 2008.
Jim Dugan, Caterpillar's Corporate spokesperson told TunnelTalk that "As we have evaluated this part of our business, we feel the name and brand change makes sense moving forward."
An attempt to reach Rick Lovat, currently at the tunneling conference in Sochi, Russia this week, to where LOVAT supplied several TBMs for projects in preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, was unsuccessful.
At the time of the acquisition, Lovat, then President and CEO of the family-owned business, characterized the move as a big win in terms of resources for a company that needed to double in size, and in short order, to keep pace with worldwide demand. The acquisition would give LOVAT customers the benefit of Caterpillar's global purchasing power and its experience in large-scale manufacturing. Caterpillar's Group President Stu Levenick was equally enthusiastic, saying the acquisition represented an excellent strategic fit for the two companies.
Fourteen months later, the first major change was announced. In June 2009 Lovat officially resigned as President and CEO, making way for Dick Cooper, a 21-year veteran of Caterpillar, to take control of the company. The move came as a surprise to long-time LOVAT employees and to the industry that was gathered for the 2009 RETC in Las Vegas. At the time Lovat said his leaving was an important part of the transition process. He has since been busy as a member of the ITA Executive Council, as Canada's representative on the RETC International Committee, and as an independent TBM consultant.
A little less than three years later absorption of the specialist company into the giant corporation is complete. Along with the name change, many of LOVAT's previous management have been replaced including Marco Giorelli, former Vice President of Projects, and former company spokesperson Mike Sousa.
"Our focus for the tunneling business is to build on the strong reputation for quality that LOVAT has been known for within the industry and to also take some of the strengths that Caterpillar is known for and to provide customers in the tunneling business with products and support that capture the best of both. In particular, Caterpillar has focused on process improvements in the areas of manufacturing excellence, safety and on-time delivery," said Dugan.
The Canadian TBM supplier was founded in 1972 by Richard Lovat, a mechanical engineer from Italy who built it from humble beginnings, together with is son Rick, into a multi-million dollar company that supplied TBMs to more than 700 tunneling projects worldwide.
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