AgJunction announces deal to sell Outback Guidance

The Outback Guidance GPS and auto-steer business is moving back under the Hemisphere name.

Parent company AgJunction announced a deal to sell Outback to Hemisphere GNSS on Monday.

The agreement includes the Outback Guidance brand, Rebel autosteer products, as well as AgJunction’s facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Hiawatha, Kansas. Hemisphere GNSS will receive non-exclusive licenses to certain AgJunction patents, and will take over the relationships with the Outback dealer network, according to a news release from AgJunction.

The company says the majority of Outback employees are expected to transition to Hemisphere GNSS, while AgJunction will retain its intellectual property and engineering staff in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Brisbane, Australia.

“As the world’s leading autosteering company, these transactions will enhance our focus on our mission to expand autosteering to all farmers by simplifying our solutions and channels to market,” says Dave Vaughn, president and CEO of AgJunction. “Upon completion of the transaction, our go-to-market distribution channels will be focused on our indirect channel partners — value-added resellers, original equipment manufacturers, and strategic intellectual property licensed partners — and our direct-to-farmer channel via Handsfreefarm.com.”

The commercialization of of AgJunction’s technology through the licensing deal with Hemisphere GNSS is “a vital component of our corporate strategy,” says Bob Barjesteh, vice president of intellectual property, M&A and general counsel for AgJunction. “This licensing agreement with HGNSS comes on the heels of our recent deal with Raven Industries, further substantiating the strength of our industry-leading intellectual property portfolio.”

Outback was previously owned by Hemisphere GPS, which sold its non-agricultural business to Beijing UniStrong Science and Technology Co. in 2013. What was left of the Hemisphere GPS business, including Outback Guidance, was renamed AgJunction, while UniStrong named the business that it acquired in the deal Hemisphere GNSS.

AgJunction will still own its Novariant, Wheelman, Whirl and Satloc brands. The company, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is headquartered in Hiawatha, Kansas, with facilities in the Silicon Valley, Arizona, Canada, and Australia.

Hemisphere GNSS has its head office in Scottsdale, Arizona, and remains part of Beijing UniStrong Science and Technology Co., a Chinese satellite navigation and geographic information system (GIS) company.

Financial terms were not announced. AgJunction says the transactions are expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

 

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