PATON - Deere & Co. announced Wednesday its intent to purchase a portion of Bauer Built Manufacturing Inc., based in Paton, in a deal that could be completed by Oct. 31, subject to terms of the purchase agreement.
Bauer is a planter chassis maker.
The ag giant has had a partnership with Bauer Built since 2002. Bauer manufacturers 44- to 120-foot ultra-wide DB Series planter chassis with row markers for Deere.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Deere is seeking to purchase Bauer's designs, intellectual property, inventory, equipment and factory in Paton.
Attempts to reach Vaughn Bauer were redirected to a Deere & Co. spokesman.
According to Eric Hodson, manager of strategic public relations for Deere & Co., Deere will purchase only the planter chassis design, and not other products manufactured by Bauer, such as its Ironworks pulling chassis.
Hodson said the deal will allow Deere to accelerate the growth of its planter business globally.
"This acquisition is in line with adding value to our customers," Hodson said. "It shows our customers a firm commitment to the planter business."
He said the intended purchase constitutes an expansion to Deere's product line and is "enhancing global growth for John Deere."
Since 2002, Bauer built the planter chassis in 10 formats - from 24-row at 22-inches per row to 36-rows at 30 inches per row - with hydraulic systems and row markers.
Then, John Deere performance-built row units, seed drive, vacuum systems and monitoring components are added, Hodson said.
Bauer employs 150 people. Hodson said employees will be given opportunities to formally apply for Deere employment and expects most will be hired back.
"I expect some may choose not to apply," he said.
Deere expects to keep the manufacturing plant intact and not move production away from Paton.
Hodson said there are no plans for expansion of the facility in the near future, but added that if Deere's market share grows, an expansion could be considered.
The company started in 1979 as a repair shop. In 1989, Vaughn Bauer began building planter frames, according to the company's website.