Friday, 27 May 2016 06:55

Chequebooks out for takeovers at home and away

Written by  Mark Daniel
The red of Robertson Manufacturing will merge with the green of Hustler to see a new powerhouse in NZ livestock feeding machinery. The red of Robertson Manufacturing will merge with the green of Hustler to see a new powerhouse in NZ livestock feeding machinery.

Hustler Equipment, the Hastings maker of bale feeding, bedding and handling equipment, has bought Robertson Manufacturing.

Robertson, located in Hinds, Canterbury, make silage wagons, the Supercomby feedout machine and precision spreading equipment.

Hustler started manufacturing in 1961, Robertson in 1977. With nearly 100 years between them in designing and making innovative machinery it seems the two companies are a good fit.

Hustler told Rural News that while some branding changes may follow, the Robertson designs and attention to detail will remain and customers will get 'seamless' advice and support.

Meanwhile, on the global scene, cash-rich Japanese giant Kubota is to buy the planter and seed drill manufacturer Great Plains Manufacturing, of Salina, Kansas.

In the US$430 million deal, slated for July, Kubota will acquire all five divisions of Great Plains, said to be the largest family-owned farm equipment maker in the US. It has eight factories in the US and one in UK; staff number 1400.

"This acquisition is part of the long term strategic vision for our expansion, with the aim of providing high quality products and comprehensive solutions for customers," said Masato Yoshikawa, president and chief executive of Kubota Tractor Corporation.

Great Plains and Kubota had common values, he said, "in that we were both founded four decades ago and both companies have a reputation for quality and engineering excellence".

Great Plains founder and chairman Roy Applequist will remain to help guide operations.

"My plan is to play a significant part in helping Great Plains to become a vital part of the Kubota family," he said.

The companies already have a long term relationship: the Great Plains Land Pride brand has been sold alongside Kubota products in the North American market since 2007.

Kubota says the move builds on its commitment to the US and Canadian markets; it recently announced a North American distribution centre in Edgerton, US, for the supply of whole goods and parts to these regions.

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