Under the sale agreement, EarthForce is purchasing the Manchester, England, plant, and the Fermec loader/backhoe and industrial tractor product lines. Fermec products will continue to be marketed through existing dealer and distributor outlets in Europe, North America, Latin America and Australia.

CNH will retain its manufacturing and marketing rights for mini-excavators that were licensed to the company by Kobelco. The Manchester plant will continue to make those models, which will be sold under the Case brand, under an exclusive supply agreement for CNH. In addition, CNH negotiated a non-exclusive supply agreement for four-wheel-steer loader backhoes that also will be sold as part of the Case line of construction equipment. CNH will discontinue supply of skid steer loaders from its Wichita, Kansas, facility for the Fermec line.

To date, CNH has nearly completed nearly all of its divestiture requirements set forth by the European Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. The company continues to pursue divestiture of its Case IH CX and MXc tractors lines and Doncaster, England, plant.

With strong global brands, CNH is a leader in the agricultural equipment, construction equipment and financial services industries and had combined 1999 revenues of approximately $11 billion. CNH sells its products in 160 markets through a network of more than 10,000 dealers and distributors. CNH products are sold under the following brands: Case, Case IH, Fermec, Fiatallis, Fiat-Hitachi, Link-Belt (earth-moving equipment), New Holland, New Holland Construction, O&K and Steyr.