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Topcon and Two Major Dealers Form World's Largest Positioning Products Provider

July 11, 2007
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LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) and two of its award-winning positioning products dealers – Earl Dudley, Inc. and Hayes Instrument Co. – have signed binding agreements to form a partnership to bring the highest level of service and support to users of precision technology in seven Southeastern states.

The partnership, which will have stores in six cities and will include about 80 employees, forms the largest positioning products provider in the world.

The three companies will form a common holding company under the brand Dudley-Hayes LLC. Eddie Clanton of Hayes and John Dudley of Earl Dudley will remain as presidents of their respective divisions.

TPS announced in May that it had entered into a binding agreement to acquire Hayes; the transfer in ownership was official mid-June. Dudley will add the Topcon survey lineup to its existing construction products when the agreement is finalized, which is expected by mid-July.

Dudley has sold and serviced Topcon construction products for more than 10 years.

Earl Dudley, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., offers sales and rentals of GPS and optical surveying instruments, construction lasers and machine control products, as well as repair services and field supplies. Hayes, with headquarters in Shelbyville, Tenn., has been in business more than 25 years and is one of Topcon’s 13 regional repair centers in the United States. Hayes specializes in the sales and leasing of GPS and optical surveying instruments as well as repair services and field supplies.

The two distributors have almost 100 years of combined history in the sales, service and support of positioning products. They employ more than 80 people with facilities in Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., Jackson, Miss., Nashville and Shelbyville, Tennessee. The partnership will use the Atlanta facility to strengthen their presence in the Georgia market. In addition to these states, both companies service end users in Kentucky, South Carolina and Arkansas.

Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of TPS, praised Dudley and Clanton for “investing in aggressive sales, training and service programs, as well as their ability to fully understand and integrate technology and market changes to benefit their individual businesses and customers.

“With the technology changing rapidly, local service and support is critical,” he said. “Few industries are advancing technologically as fast as the precise positioning industry. While advanced technology is allowing more productivity for every surveyor, the business is also becoming more complex. To succeed and grow, the positive formula for any instrument business is in providing immediate local support and aggressive training and service programs.

“This is a classic example of excellent companies joining together to become not just a bigger company, but a multi-service source for supporting their customers’ growing reliance on the latest and most efficient positioning technology,” O’Connor said.

“While still operating their businesses independently, by sharing resources,” he said, “Dudley and Hayes will be become stronger partners with their customers as they continue providing excellent products, quality training and exemplary service.”

O’Connor said, “This partnership means the customers of each dealer can do business with people they know and trust. And, they can feel confident that their local dealer is backed up by a strong coalition of like-minded professionals, all with one primary goal: Not just meet, but exceed the expectations of the customer.”

Dudley described the partnership as “the best of business opportunities for our customers and employees. We are joining forces with Hayes Instrument, a highly respected survey distributor, and Topcon, one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of precise precision instruments. We all share a common goal of being the best at what we do – supply the industry’s best products to end users, and provide exemplary customer services without fail.”

He said Topcon’s “long history as an industry leader in creating, manufacturing and distributing innovative precision GPS, laser, surveying and machine control products, and the professionalism of the Hayes Instrument organization made the decision to form this partnership an easy one.”

He said the “great relationship I’ve had with Topcon for 10 years of selling construction positioning products helped make this decision.”

Eddie Clanton, president of Hayes, which specializes in the sales, leasing and service of survey instruments, said, “The precise positioning industry is advancing rapidly. The technology is allowing more productivity for every surveyor, but operating a business to serve that market is also becoming more complex. The future success of any instrument business is in providing immediate local support and aggressive training and service programs.

“We recently agreed to join Topcon because it has the resources and the people to take what we have worked hard to build and quickly increase the business by expanding our staff,” he said. “Getting to work with John Dudley in this partnership will only enhance the opportunities to grow our business and give unprecedented levels of service and support to customers.”

SIDEBAR information

The three companies that will form this new partnership – including Topcon with its recent purchase of Hayes Instrument – have more than 150 years of experience in the positioning market. The companies are joined by more than just their longtime commitment to excellence in the precise positioning market; they are also joined by the core belief that by listening to customers, it’s possible to not only fulfill their present needs but anticipate customers’ needs of the future.

Earl Dudley, Inc.

In 1938, Earl Dudley and E. Phil Harris started a business with a single goal: Repair survey instruments with a precision and attention to detail that would restore a customer’s instrument to exact tolerances and standards required by the manufacturer.

From the onset, the company used the latest repair equipment to provide customers with a complete, one-stop service center, with most repair work being onsite. When the right tool could not be found to perform a repair task, the company had it built, testament to the company’s reputation for doing whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.

The company, formerly Earl Dudley Associates, Inc., has more than 40 employees in five locations – Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Jackson, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn.

Hayes Instrument Co.

Hayes, with headquarters in Shelbyville, Tenn., has been in business for more than 25 years. It represents Topcon surveying products in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas.

The company’s founder, Harold Hayes, set the standard for the company’s rich history in putting customers first in sales, financing, training and service. Hayes’ daughter Linda and son-in-law Eddie Clanton use that tradition as the cornerstone of today’s business.

Hayes has more than 35 employees and is one of Topcon’s 13 regional repair centers in the U.S.

TPS, whose parent company, Topcon Corporation recently celebrated its 75th anniversary in the positioning industry, announced in May it had signed a binding agreement to purchase Hayes and that the dealer would expand its territory to include Georgia and South Carolina. The purchase was completed in mid-June.

About Topcon Positioning Systems: Topcon Positioning Systems, a developer and manufacturer of positioning equipment, offers the world’s leading selection of innovating precision GPS, GIS, laser, agriculture, optical surveying, and machine control products, software, and applications. Topcon Corporation is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732).
 
Source: Topcon Positioning Systems, July 11, 2007.

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