AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor
of agricultural equipment, yesterday announced that, subject to
the approval of the competition authorities, it has agreed to acquire
50% of Laverda S.p.A from the Italian ARGO group.
Laverda 296 LCS
ARGO owns a number of manufacturing, service and distribution
companies as well as some prestigious trademarks, all operating
exclusively in the traditional agricultural machinery sector.
Based in Breganze, in Northern Italy, Laverda operates one of
the most modern and efficient production facilities for harvesters
in Europe. In addition to producing Laverda branded combines, the
Breganze factory has been manufacturing mid-range combine harvesters
for AGCO's Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Challenger brands for distribution
in Europe, Africa and the Middle East since 2004. In 2006, Laverda's
annual consolidated net sales were approximately 133 million.
"This investment reinforces AGCO's market positioning and
supports our strategic aim of taking a leading position in the
European harvesting business," commented Martin Richenhagen,
Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO.
The joint venture will further improve AGCO's product offering
of harvesting equipment and is expected to provide a foundation
for long term product development.
"AGCO is committed to growth in the harvesting markets. With
the combined sales volumes of the Laverda brand and our AGCO brands,
we will be well positioned in the competitive marketplace," said
Gary Collar, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe,
Africa and Middle East (EAME).
The joint venture also includes Laverda's ownership in Fella-Werke
GMBH, a German manufacturer of grass and hay machinery, and its
50% stake in Gallignani S.p.A, an Italian manufacturer of balers.
The addition of the Fella and Gallignani product lines enables
AGCO to provide a comprehensive harvesting offer to its customers.
Mr. Collar continued, "Overall, the integration of harvesting
development activities for Europe will significantly improve AGCO's
base of resources committed to the harvesting business."
"Our success in selling Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Challenger
combines manufactured in Breganze over the past few years has given
us confidence in a broader agreement," explained Martin Richenhagen. "Both
AGCO and ARGO will benefit from this strategic partnership by combining
the strengths of both companies' product development, distribution
and manufacturing resources in the harvesting sector."
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