Seeding equipment-maker Morris Industries will likely be owned by another Saskatchewan-based manufacturer by the end of the month.
Rite Way Mfg. is poised to acquire Morris, based on court documents and an announcement published by Morris’ national distributor in Australia.
Morris has been in creditor protection since early January. As we reported in May, Superior Farm Solutions Limited, the parent company of Rite Way, had submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire Morris.
Last week, a Saskatchewan judge extended the stay of proceedings against Morris from July 3 to July 31 to allow the two companies to finalize their deal. The court-appointed monitor said the involved parties had reached an agreement on the terms of two asset purchase agreements, and that they anticipated being back in court in mid-July to seek approval of the sale and related transactions.
While neither Rite Way or Morris have made any public statements or responded to requests for more information, Morris’ national distributor in Australia is already welcoming Rite Way as the new owner of Morris.
An announcement published by Australia-based McIntosh Group quotes Rite Way’s president and CEO Heather Forbes.
“Morris’ greatest strength lies in its engineering and research and development capability, and we have identified opportunities for improvement in manufacturing efficiencies,” she says.
“Taking 100 per cent ownership will allow us to restructure our manufacturing approach in Western Canada to ensure we can transition our strength in engineering into great products in the field,” continues Forbes. “We are confident we can guide Morris into a new era, continuing the strong Morris brand and building on its historical success in precision farming solutions.”
The CEO of McIntosh Group, David Capper, is also welcoming Rite Way’s apparent ownership.
“Morris remains in the hands of a financially strong Canadian manufacturer and the streamlined ownership structure and core focus on manufacturing will deliver great outcomes for Morris,” says Capper. “We are pleased with the developments and look forward to continuing our relationship with Ms. Forbes and Morris.”
Headquartered in Regina with manufacturing based in Imperial, Sask., Rite Way builds and sells a variety of equipment, including rock pickers, land rollers, heavy harrows, rotary harrows, and crimper rollers. As for Morris, the company builds seeding equipment, as well as harrows and bale-handling equipment, with manufacturing facilities in Yorkton, Sask. and Minnedosa, Man.
Financial terms of the proposed agreement between Rite Way and Morris have been kept confidential. According to court documents, Morris’ largest secured creditor — BMO — supports the deal.