Japanese tractor company Kubota has announced a deal to purchase Salina, Kansas-based equipment-maker Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc.
Kubota will acquire 100 percent of Great Plains’ shares for a stock price of approximately US$430 million, subject to provisions in the agreement. The deal expands on a North American alliance Kubota had with Great Plains’ turf and landscape implement division Land Pride dating back to 2007.
“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. This acquisition will strengthen our ability to deliver high quality products to our customers and continue our strategic growth into new markets,” said Kubota Canada Ltd. President, Bob Hickey, in a news release on Friday.
The deal represents Kubota’s largest foray into the North American farm equipment market, following up on its acquisition of European ag manufacturer Kverneland ASA in 2012. The agreement includes all five Great Plains divisions (Great Plains Ag Division, Great Plains International, Land Pride, Great Plains Acceptance Corporation, and Great Plains Trucking) with multiple facilities in Kansas and a manufacturing plant in Sleaford, England.
April 1st, 2016 marked 40 years since Great Plains Manufacturing founder Roy Applequist started the company, building a new grain drill for the U.S. Central Plains. Applequist, who still serves as Great Plains’ chairman, will be part of the team guiding the transition with Kubota.
“My plan is to play a significant role in helping Great Plains become a vital part of the Kubota family,” said Applequist. “Great Plains’ leadership position in the agricultural implement business has been earned by striving to do our best in satisfying our customers’ needs, and we are confident that teaming up with Kubota will allow us to continue to uphold this tradition.”
After building drills through the late ’70s and into the ’80s, introducing innovations in depth control and no-till planting, Great Plains Trucking was launched in 1983 to haul equipment across the country. Applequist started the turf-maintance and landscaping division – Land Pride – in 1986. Great Plains Acceptance Corp. was also created in 1991 to help dealers with low-rate financing. The company entered the tillage market in 2000, buying Kent Manufacturing, and later bought Simba International in England in 2010.
In total, Great Plains operates approximately 1.7 million square feet of factory and office space.
Kubota says for the foreseeable future, 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.”
The deal is expected to be completed in July.