Turkish manufacturer Basak Traktör reaches deal to buy 97% of Versatile parent Buhler Industries


The parent company of Basak Traktör — an agricultural manufacturer based in Turkey — has reached a deal to acquire 97 per cent of the shares in Manitoba-based Buhler Industries from Russia’s largest agricultural manufacturer, Rostselmash.

Buhler, which employs around 800 people building Versatile tractors and Farm King equipment, has been majority-owned by Rostselmash since 2007.

The terms of the agreement would see Basak Traktör’s parent — ASKO Holding — pay C$60.5 million for the company, including all the outstanding debt owed to Rostselmash.

“We are very excited to partner with ASKO Holding. We believe that ASKO Holding’s deep understanding and involvement in the agricultural equipment industry, will assist the company in achieving its immense potential for future growth and innovation.” said Grant Adolph, chief operating officer of Buhler Industries.

The acquisition represents a step forward for ASKO Holding’s expansion into North America, says Sami Konukoglu, Chairman of ASKO Holding. “Buhler Industries and its iconic brands, Versatile and Farm King, have a deep history and legacy in the agricultural industry and we are enthusiastic about working with Buhler Industries to take the next steps in the evolution of its business.”

ASKO also purchased Hy-Brid Lifts in the United States earlier this year.

The companies say approximately C$27.9 million will be paid for the shares (around C$1.15 per share), with another C$4.1 million allocated to transaction costs. The remainder of the C$60.5 million purchase price is attributed to debt and intellectual property transfers between Buhler and Rostselmash.

The remaining shares of Buhler are publicly-traded on the TSX, and last traded at $2.30/share as of Dec. 21.

Basak Traktör has also agreed to pay outstanding amounts with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce when the deal closes.

The companies say they anticipate the transaction will be finalized before year-end or in early January 2024. It’s expected the current members of Buhler’s board of directors will be replaced with nominees of Basak Traktör at that time.

Headquartered in Sakarya, Turkey, Basak’s origins as an agricultural manufacturer date back to 1914. The company manufactures tractors up to 120 horsepower and also makes tillage, planting, harvesting, and garden equipment under the Basak Agri brand.

Buhler announced back in July that it had hired Toronto-based Origin Merchant Partners to find an investor who was committed to “preserving the legacy of the iconic Versatile and Farm King brands.”

The timing of the sale coincides with Rostselmash’s plans to ramp up production at a new tractor manufacturing plant in Rostov-on-Don, Russia — less than 100km from the Ukraine border — in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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