Kubota to buy equipment maker Great Plains

Kansas-based Great Plains Manufacturing, whose 3S-3000HD drill is shown here, is set to become an arm of Japanese manufacturer Kubota. (GreatPlainsAg.com)

Japanese farm, construction, yard and landscaping equipment maker Kubota is set to expand its share in several of those sectors with a deal for Kansas equipment firm Great Plains Manufacturing.

Kubota, which has had a strategic alliance with Great Plains for implements in the U.S. since 2007, announced Friday it will buy 100 per cent of Great Plains’ stock for roughly US$430 million (C$556.4 million).

The deal gives Kubota all five Great Plains divisions and the company’s “multiple” manufacturing plants in Kansas, plus a plant in Sleaford, about 90 km southeast of Sheffield in England.

“Once final, this acquisition is going to lead to great advancements for both businesses without being a significant change for our people,” Todd Stucke, Kubota’s senior vice-president of sales, marketing and product support, said in a release.

For the foreseeable future, the companies said, all five of Great Plains’ divisions “will continue to operate as they have with their infrastructure intact and with respect to the distinctiveness of the brands, trademarks and operational strengths.”

Set up in Kansas in 1976, Great Plains’ divisions today include Great Plains Ag, which makes seeders, drills, sprayers and tillage equipment; Land Pride, which makes turf equipment, landscaping equipment, skid steer attachments and three-point implements such as rotary cutters; trucking firm Great Plains Trucking; lender Great Plans Acceptance Corp. (GPAC); and Great Plains International, the export arm for Great Plains Ag and Land Pride.

Kubota said the Great Plains deal meshes with its previous entry into the implement market, when it bought manufacturer Kverneland in 2012.

With the Great Plains operations, Kubota said, it will have GP’s seeders and tillage equipment, which are suited to North American farming methods, as well as Kverneland’s line of hay tools.

Thus, the company said, the deal “should help Kubota to strengthen and expand its implement product lineup in the North American market, which in turn will further expand its implement business overall.”

Kubota said the deal will also build on its own presence in Kansas, where it recently announced it would set up its North American distribution centre at Edgerton, about 50 km southwest of Kansas City. The site is to be Kubota’s primary distribution hub for parts and whole goods across the U.S.

“Through our Canadian marketing alliance, we’ve learned that Land Pride products are a great fit for our tractors, our dealers and our brand here in Canada,” Kubota Canada president Bob Hickey said Friday in a separate release.

The deal, Hickey said, “will strengthen our ability to deliver high-quality products to our customers and continue our strategic growth into new markets.” — AGCanada.com Network

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