New Holland to buy sprayer manufacturer Miller

Miller began manufacturing spraying equipment in the 1990s, starting with its Nitro line. (MillerStN.com)

Wisconsin precision spraying equipment maker Miller can expect to break further into the Canadian market following a friendly takeover by New Holland’s farm equipment arm.

New Holland’s parent firm CNH Industrial announced a “definitive agreement” last week to buy the assets of Miller-St. Nazianz Inc. for an undisclosed sum. New Holland has had a manufacturing and distribution deal with Miller in North America for the last four years.

“New Holland will bring Miller’s proven product portfolio directly into our family for further worldwide distribution, which will expand crop production sales in the key markets of the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Eastern Europe and beyond,” Carlo Lambro, brand president for New Holland Agriculture, said in a release.

Miller’s own distribution network includes dealers across the U.S. and in Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and South Africa.

Miller’s website today lists just two Canadian dealers: Foster’s Agri-World at Beaverlodge, Alta. and Milltec Sprayer Technologies at Carman, Man., both handling Miller’s Nitro and Condor self-propelled sprayers.

The Miller manufacturing assets, which today employ about 260 people, are to become part of New Holland Agriculture, CNH said.

Miller, based about 65 km south of Green Bay at St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, last year undertook a $4.5 million expansion of its production plant, including a new paint booth, plasma cutter and receiving docks plus a doubling in size for its research and development department.

The company started life as a hardware retailer in 1899 and was an early dealer of McCormick-Deering equipment, billing itself as the first to sell a horseless tractor in Wisconsin.

Miller broke into manufacturing with products such as forage boxes, rotary rakes and trailer sprayers in the 1980s and set up Miller Application Technologies in the 1990s, starting with the Nitro line of self-propelled front-boom sprayers.

Its current product lines include the Nitro and Condor sprayers, Ag-Bag silage baggers, Spray-Air air boom systems, Atlas floaters and precision ag equipment.

New Holland noted the Ag-Bag silage packaging line adds a “further offering” to its own hay and forage equipment segment.

Through the earlier distribution deal, Miller’s products “have been a welcome addition to our crop production offering and we intend to further innovate and develop this important product line in the years to come,” New Holland North America vice-president Abe Hughes said in the same release.

The deal, subject to the usual closing conditions and a waiting period under U.S. antitrust law, is expected to close before the end of the year. — AGCanada.com Network

 

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