The rumor mill following the June 24 Reuters article on AGCO CEO Martin Richenhagen's interest in acquiring another U.S. farm equipment manufacturer has heated up again. To see the original article, visit Farm Equipment.

Farm Equipment and Ag Equipment Intelligence editors received several calls and emails today about a round of layoffs that occurred at AGCO this week. The layoffs include 45 people in the Sales Marketing and Distribution division in Duluth, Ga. This number represents roughly 25% of the division employment, according to the source. The number of field service representatives affected by the layoffs was not known, though the total number was reported by one source to be 100 or more.

Farm Equipment was told by one source told that Case IH territory managers were instructed to fly to Chicago (CNH's headquarters is in suburban Chicago) on July 7 for an impromptu meeting. Chicago is also the site of AGCO's Sales Summit, an event that was planned about 30 days ago.

One of the sources pointed out that AlixPartners, the corporate advisory firm guiding Chrysler's restructuring (which included CNH parent Fiat), was also retained by AGCO.

A media representative told Farm Equipment that he had no indication that the rumor of an AGCO-CNH marriage had merit.