Statement from Guy Leversha, Managing Director, Simba International Ltd., May 5, 2010
Some months ago Simba International entered into discussions with Great Plains Mfg Inc. of Salina, Kansas, with a view to entering into a reciprocal trade agreement.
It was envisaged that such an agreement would open up sales opportunities for Simba products throughout North America through Great Plains’ extensive dealer network, while also providing Simba with a broad range of seeding and planting equipment for its Central and Eastern European distribution network.
As more detailed discussions between the two companies took place it became apparent that the best way for both companies to achieve these objectives would be for Great Plains to acquire 100% of the shares of Simba International. Great Plains made an offer that was accepted by Simba’s Board of Directors and the deal was completed on the April 30, 2010.
Great Plains is the largest non-tractor, privately-owned agricultural implement manufacturing company in the U.S. It manufactures a broad line of products including tillage equipment, grain drills, air seeders, planters, trailed sprayers, compact tractor implements and zero-turn self-propelled mowers.
Great Plains’ factories are located on eight sites in central Kansas. The company employs about 1,000 people, has 116,000 square meters of modern manufacturing facilities, its own finance division and a fleet of 60 articulated trucks. The company has a very strong dealer network across North America and has enjoyed growing success overseas.
In recent years Eastern Europe has become a strong market. Great Plains has sales and service locations in Ukraine, Southern Russia and Bulgaria. More details of the company and its products can be found at www.greatplainsmfg.com.
While Simba adds many world-class products to the Great Plains line, Great Plains gets a team of people experienced in the design, marketing and selling of cultivation and seeding equipment throughout Western Europe. The acquisition also brings with it a production facility in Lincolnshire that will provide a good manufacturing and marketing location from which to base its growing European presence.
Great Plains is a 34-year old family owned business. Roy Applequist, founder and owner, is the company’s president. Roy’s son in law Daniel is president of Great Plains International and a key driver in making this acquisition happen.
Following the deal, Rod Daffern, current chairman of Simba, will retire as he had planned to do with Guy Leversha stepping up to become managing director. Dorothy Lyth, Simon Revell and Colin Adams will remain as directors of Simba and be joined on the board by Rauchholz.
It is the intention of the combined companies to offer all of Europe a broad range of tillage, seeding and planting equipment. Both companies are also active in other countries worldwide.
The current agreement that Simba has with Horsch GmbH will ensure Simba’s UK dealers have a proven range of cultivator drills and tined cultivators available exclusively throughout 2010 and the early part of 2011 when our current marketing agreement with them expires. Discussions are in progress with Horsch to ensure a smooth transition to a new distribution agreement after March 2011.