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Buhler to buy Alta. seeding, tillage tool maker

Winnipeg ag equipment maker Buhler Industries, best known for Versatile tractors and Farm King implements, has bought its way into the seeding equipment business.

The company on Monday announced it has paid $14.5 million for Ezee-On Manufacturing, which makes equipment such as air drills, air carts, offset and tandem discs, post pounders and front-end loaders at Vegreville, Alta.

Ezee-On, which until now was owned by Vegreville-based TerraVest Income Fund, employs 70 people at Vegreville and also runs a setup and distribution warehouse at Billings, Montana.

The company’s product line “has expanded through the years and now includes a well-rounded portfolio of tillage tools, including air drills and air carts that are known for accuracy and reliability,” Buhler wrote in a release.

“The line of offset and tandem discs, both for agriculture and construction, have developed a reputation for being heavy- duty and capable of handling the toughest field conditions.”

Buhler on Monday pledged “additional resources” for research and development on products built at the Ezee-On plant, to “meet the growing demands of the Versatile and Farm King dealer network.” Ezee-On’s post pounders, for example, will become part of the Farm King product group.

“Information on these products, which will enhance the overall product offering, will be released on an ongoing basis,” Buhler said.

Buhler president Dmitry Lyubimov on Monday described the Ezee-On purchase as “another step in the process of (Buhler) becoming a full-line equipment manufacturer” with “a complete line of equipment to large-acre growers in North America and around the world. Tillage and seeding equipment is essential for that growth.”

The terms of the sale involve a $7.25 million payment up front to TerraVest effective Friday (Feb. 4) and the remainder due on or before March 31.

TerraVest said in a separate release Monday that the sale of Ezee-On stems from “ongoing evaluation of each of its portfolio businesses in order to determine fair value and the related review of the future strategic direction of the fund.”

The fund’s board and management are “currently assessing the optimal use of the proceeds” from the Ezee-On sale.

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