Westeel buys Italian grain conveyor maker

Winnipeg grain storage and handling equipment maker Westeel plans to offer customers worldwide a “more comprehensive” product line by buying further into the grain conveyor business.

Westeel, the grain and liquid storage products arm of Oakville, Ont.-based Vicwest Inc., recently announced it has bought PTM Technology, an Italian designer and manufacturer of automated grain handling systems including chain, bucket and belt conveyors, grain sampling and dust collection equipment.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Though small in scale, this acquisition is transformational for Westeel in that it positions us as one of a few integrated, turn-key suppliers of core grain storage and handling systems in the world with full control over proprietary intellectual property,” Vicwest CEO Colin Osborne said in a release.

“Not only does this transaction provide us with our first manufacturing platform in Europe, it is also a meaningful step in the execution of our stated strategy for growth.”

Based at Este, about 65 km southwest of Venice, PTM employs 30 people and runs a 41,000-square foot factory whose configuration “provides a meaningful opportunity for volume expansion without significant capital investment,” Westeel said.

“Combining our product lines as well as our engineering capabilities creates significant synergies for both businesses, driving increased sales, allowing Westeel to capture more margin on international projects, and offering a more integrated solution to our North American customer base,” Westeel president Andre Granger said.

Westeel’s expanded reach recently has included the opening of a sales, marketing and engineering branch in Madrid in 2011, and of a new office in Mumbai earlier this year.

Westeel in 2011 also contracted with Swedish manufacturer Skandia Elevator to make conveyors and elevators for sale in Canada under the Westeel name.

Related stories:
Westeel to add conveyor systems to product line, June 15, 2011
Buhler to build Westeel-branded grain handling gear, Oct. 5, 2010

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