AGCO, the holding company behind the Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Valtra and Challenger tractor and farm equipment brands, has agreed to acquire the Precision Planting business from Monsanto subsidiary The Climate Corporation, subject to regulatory approvals.
In May this year, Monsanto was forced to terminate Climate Corps’ November 2015 agreement to sell Precision Planting to John Deere, following a decision by the US competition authorities. The US Department of Justice ruled that combining the world’s two largest developers and providers of IT enabled high speed seed planting equipment would reduce competition in this market, leading to higher prices and less innovation.
At the time, Climate Corp reiterated that its decision to divest the business was a strategic one to allow an exclusive focus on its core digital agriculture platform, so an alternative buyer will be sought.
“Precision Planting is a strong business that plays an essential role in the growth and adoption of innovative precision ag practices that help farmers enhance their productivity,” said Mike Stern, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation after the AGCO announcement. “As a leading global equipment manufacturer, AGCO is uniquely positioned to enable broader distribution of Precision Planting technology and will continue the development of innovative products that improve the efficiency and productivity for farmers around the world.”
AGCO’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Martin Richenhagen added: “The acquisition of Precision Planting will solidify AGCO as one of the global leaders in planting technology and strengthen our position as a full line partner for professional farmers across the globe.”