The diversification effort at Coachmen Industries Inc. is continuing as indicated by the company’s announcement today (Aug. 23) that it intends to buy Miller Building Systems Inc., a producer of commercial modular buildings used by several telecommunications industry companies.

Miller’s customers include Nextel, AT&T, Motorola and the former Bell Atlantic, now Verizon.

Coachmen agreed to pay almost $27 million in cash for Miller, a company headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., as is Coachmen.

The deal would be completed as a “tender offer,” which means the owners of Miller shares have the option of selling their stock at $8.40 a share. Coachmen agreed to add another 30 cents a share if Miller satisfies certain conditions.

As of late afternoon Eastern Time, Miller stock traded around $8.31 a share, up 69 cents.

Miller stock is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

More details about Coachmen’s tender offer will be revealed in documents it will file with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

Miller had $71 million in sales during its recently completed fiscal year 2000.

Coachmen Chairman Claire Skinner said she wants to expand the company’s modular housing and modular structures operations to the point where they, in terms of sales revenue, equal Coachmen’s RV sales.