Dover Corp., which released its second-quarter earnings Wednesday, said it is close to selling Triton Systems of Delaware, the financially troubled off-premise ATM manufacturer, to an undisclosed buyer.
     â€œWe have moved Triton from Engineered Systems to discontinued operations in the anticipation of the completion of its sale in the near future,” Ronald L. Hoffman, Dover CEO, told analysts during a conference call. “The discontinuance of Triton and subsequent write-down of its carrying value resulted in a $51 million loss during the quarter.”
     Robert Livingston, Dover president and chief operating officer, says the company has “a viable buyer currently in place that [will] allow us to move the process forward.”
     Hoffman’s disclosure that Dover will list Triton as a discontinued operation caused confusion early Wednesday.
     The Associated Press reported that Dover, a $7 billion New York-based company with a portfolio of manufacturing companies, planned to close Triton’s Long Beach, Miss., manufacturing plant and offices.
     Triton quickly issued a press release, calling the article inaccurate.
     â€œReports this morning by the Associated Press that Dover plans to close Triton are incorrect. The Associated Press has since corrected the article,” wrote Triton President and CEO Bill Johnson. “Dover has no plans to close Triton.”
     Johnson said he issued the news release to reassure Dover’s customers.
     Triton is one of the nation’s largest off-premise manufacturers. In 2006, the company shipped 12,300 ATMs, placing it fourth behind NCR Corp., Diebold Inc. and Tranax Technologies Inc. Triton’s 2006 shipments, however, were down 16.4% from 14,782 shipments in 2005. Triton has not disclosed to ATM&Debit News how many ATMs it shipped last year.
     Lately, however, the company has not been a moneymaker. In the third quarter of last year, the company dismissed 15% of its 500-member workforce. It said it would report a financial loss of $3 million to $5 million for the fourth quarter of last year(ADN,12/6/07).
     During an analysts’ conference Nov. 9, Dover executives said Triton posed a major challenge for Dover.
     As financial troubles mounted, Brian Kett, Triton president and former CEO, resigned in late December. Johnson replaced Kett as president and CEO.
     Dover attributed some of Triton’s problems to the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina.
     In 2005, Katrina forced Triton to close its Long Beach plant for two weeks.
     Dover also blamed Triton’s problems on high employee turnover.
     Leon Majors, president of Phoenix ESP Payments Research Group in Salisbury, Md., also blamed Triton’s problems on competitor Nautilus Hyosung America Inc., which has dramatically cut prices in the off-premise ATM market to gain market share (ADN, 12/6/07).
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