FRANKFURT, March 31 (Reuters) - Germany's Kion and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are in talks to buy Japanese forklift truck maker UniCarriers for up to 100 billion yen ($833 million), a source familiar with the matter said, confirming a Nikkei report.
UniCarriers is strong in Japan and in the United States where Kion, which has been steadily growing through acquisitions over the past years, has only a small presence.
It made sales of 175 billion yen in fiscal 2013.
Kion, the world's biggest forklift truckmaker after Toyota Industries, is strong in Europe, China and South America and in the premium segment of the forklift truck market, while UniCarriers is stronger in mass-market forklifts.
Kion owns brands including Linde, Still and Baoli as a result of its takeovers, and allows the companies it buys to keep their own identity in a so-called multibrand strategy.
Shares in Kion were unchanged at 38.48 euros shortly after the Frankfurt market open. ($1 = 120.1000 yen) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Thomas Atkins)