Spartan Motors Announces Agreement to Acquire Utilimaster Corporation

CHARLOTTE, Michigan, Nov. 19, 2009 – Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Utilimaster Corporation from John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading...


“We are pleased to join forces with the Spartan Motors team,” said Mike Kitson, Utilimaster president and CEO. “Spartan and Utilimaster share a similar business model, complementary team culture and financial discipline – focused on return on invested capital – that bode well for our continued momentum in the marketplace. Based on the excellent strategic fit, I am convinced our organizations will be stronger together as we seek to leverage operational best practices and attack new growth markets beyond those we could penetrate individually.”

Conference Call, Webcast

Spartan Motors will host a conference call for analysts and portfolio managers at 1 p.m. ET today, Nov. 19, 2009, to discuss the acquisition. To listen to a live webcast of the call, please visit www.spartanmotors.com, click on “Shareholders,” and then on “Webcasts.”

About Utilimaster

Established in 1973, Utilimaster (www.utilimaster.com) is a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service market place. As one of the most respected and trusted manufacturers of commercial vehicles, Utilimaster designs, develops and manufactures products to customer specifications for use in the package delivery, one-way truck rental, bakery/snack delivery, utility and linen/uniform rental businesses. The company serves a diverse customer base and also sells aftermarket parts and accessories.

About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. (www.spartanmotors.com) designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis and vehicles for the recreational vehicle, fire truck, ambulance, emergency-rescue and defense/specialty markets. The company’s brand names – SpartanTM, Crimson FireTM, Crimson Fire AerialsTM, and Road RescueTM – are known for quality, value, service and being the first to market with innovative products. The company employs approximately 1,000 at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $844.4 million in 2008 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis.

This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning our business, future plans and objectives and the performance of our products. Forward-looking statements are identifiable by words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “will,” “sustain,” and “continue.” These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that ultimately may not prove to be accurate. For example, we may encounter unforeseen difficulties and challenges in entering new markets or in pursuing strategic acquisitions. In addition, technical and other complications may arise that could prevent the timely implementation of our plans or that may impact the expected outcome of those plans. As a result, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The company cautions that these forward-looking statements are further qualified by other factors including, but not limited to, those set forth in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filing and other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (available at http://www.sec.gov). Government contracts and subcontracts typically involve long payment and purchase cycles, competitive bidding, qualification requirements, delays or changes in funding, extensive specification development and changes, price negotiations and milestone requirements. An announced award of a governmental contract is not equivalent to a finalized executed contract and does not assure that orders will be issued and filled. Government agencies also often retain some portion of fees payable upon completion of a project and collection of contract fees may be delayed for long periods, which can negatively impact both prime contractors and subcontractors. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.