Kubota announces agreement to acquire Great Plains
Kubota Corporation - parent company to Kubota U.S.A. - has announced it will purchase Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc., based in Salina, Kan. Once final, according to the media announcement, the purchase will expand the company's long-time partnership with Land Pride and will include all five Great Plains divisions with multiple facilities in Kansas and a manufacturing plant in Sleaford, England.
In 2013 Kubota purchased Kverneland Group and soon after started marketing hay tools under the Kubota trade name. That product line has been expanding. It appears Kubota Corporation is not done expanding its farm equipment footprint.
In 2015, Farm Industry News spoke with Todd Stucke, vice president, sales, marketing and product support, Kubota. During that interview he told the publication that Kubota was interested in expanding into other areas beyond what was available through the Kverneland purchase.
Kubota and Land Pride have worked together on producing what Kubota calls "performance-matched" implements to Kubota dealers and customers. In the media announcement concerning this new acquisition deal, Masato Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corporation, comments: "This acquisition aligns with our long-term strategic vision to continue our market expansion and provide high-quality products and comprehensive solutions for our customers. Great Plains and Kubota share a common set of values in that we both were founded four decades ago on a reputation of quality, innovation and engineering excellence. We believe our synergies will continue to add value for our dealers and our customers for many years to come."
For now, all five Great Plains divisions will continue to operate as they have been with their infrastructure intact, according to Kubota. Stucke notes that "once final, this acquisition is going to lead to great advancements for both businesses without being a significant change for our people. We intend to respect the distinctiveness of the brands, trademarks and operational strengths."
Roy Applequist, Great Plains' founder and chairman stays on the leadership team after the acquisition to help guide the operations and facilitate the transition. Adds Applequist, in the announcement: "My plan is to play a significant role in helping Great Plains become a vital part of the Kubota family."
Great Plains is known for a range of innovations. Most recently, during the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show, the company rolled out the AccuShot system, a highly precise in-furrow fertilizer delivery system developed with Capstan Ag Systems.
Applequist will oversee and manage the transition, but will work with Linda Salem, president of Great Plains Manufacturing. Salem notes she has worked alongside Roy for 26 years "and I intend to carry forward the entrepreneurial and successful legacy that he has created at Great Plains. I've also worked collaboratively with Kubota for over 10 years, which has allowed us to create a foundation for a strong working relationship that will continue to build as we move forward."
Kubota recently announced that its North American Distribution Center will be established in Edgerton, Kan., which will be the primary distribution hub for Kubota parts and whole goods distribution across the U.S. and Canada. Kubota is also moving its U.S. headquarters from Torrance, Calif., to Grapevine, Texas. It's new corporate headquarters facility is now under construction.