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Ag Growth buys Winnipeg custom fabricator

The Winnipeg owner of a stable of grain handling equipment makers has bought a custom manufacturing firm to make more of its components in-house.

Ag Growth International on Friday announced it’s bought Winnipeg-based Franklin Enterprises for $7.1 million plus working capital.

The company offers “significant manufacturing flexibility” for Ag Growth, including a range of computer numerical control (CNC) fabrication equipment, such as plasma cutting, punching machines and brakes, as well as laser cutters and a welding department which includes several robotic units.

The company, which has operated in Winnipeg’s industrial Lord Selkirk area since 1979, bills itself as providing a “comprehensive array of manufacturing, design and engineering services to major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

The addition of Franklin to the Ag Growth stable also gives the buyer “enhanced prototyping and design capabilities,” Ag Growth CEO Rob Stenson said in a release.

“Franklin will continue as a custom manufacturer but will also manufacture components for several of our divisions thereby reducing costs and increasing our production capacity, particularly in periods of high in-season demand,” he said.

Franklin’s management, headed by senior manager John Gergely, will continue in their present roles, Stenson said, adding that “we are very fortunate that the opportunity to acquire Franklin was presented to us.”

Ag Growth’s nine other manufacturing divisions include auger maker Westfield, bin maker Twister, conveyor belt makers Batco and Hi Roller and, most recently, grain dryer maker Mepu Oy of Finland.

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