U.S. and Dutch companies create the world's largest maker of specialty harvesting equipment

Two of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialized harvesting equipment - Oxbo International Corp. and Ploeger Agro B.V. - have merged to create the Ploeger Oxbo Group, the world's largest manufacturer of harvesting equipment and related products for niche agricultural markets. The new company is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Oxbo has over 400 employees, mostly in the United States, and Ploeger employs 140, largely in Europe. Executives of the two companies say that together, their organizations can more efficiently pursue opportunities in new markets such as Brazil, China and fast-growing countries in Eastern Europe.

"After nearly 20 years of collaborating informally, this new partnership positions both of our companies for a brighter future," said Gary Stich, president of Oxbo. "Working together, we can accomplish things that we just could not do as individual companies. For example, we could sell more Oxbo olive harvesters in Europe, and more easily offer Ploeger potato and fine bean harvesters in North America," Stich stated.

"This new arrangement allows our companies to freely exchange technology and product information, and to cooperate in complex initiatives such as offering our products to customers in new countries," said Ad Ploeger, general manager of Ploeger Agro. "We will build on our individual strengths to form new capabilities together, and that is good news for everyone - employees, customers and business partners alike."

The new company is owned by five groups—Ploeger and Oxbo executives, VDL (a Dutch manufacturing company) and two Dutch investment firms, Van Lanschot Participaties and Synergia. It will be controlled by a four- member board of directors—Gary Stich and Andy Talbott, vice president of sales at Oxbo; along with Ad Ploeger and Cees Van Beek, technical director at Ploeger.

Both companies will continue to conduct operations using their current names and brands. In new international markets, however, they will do business as the Ploeger Oxbo Group.

About Oxbo International

Headquartered in Byron, N.Y., and with roots dating back to the 1950s, Oxbo International manufactures a wide range of specialty agricultural equipment - including products that harvest processing and fresh market vegetables, berries, citrus, coffee, grapes, olives and seed corn. The company employs over 400 workers in three main manufacturing facilities—Byron; Clear Lake, Wis.; and Lynden, Wash—as well as a number of sales and service locations. Oxbo supplies equipment worldwide to customers in more than 28 countries.

About Ploeger

Ploeger Machines built its first self-propelled bean harvester in 1968, and the company has since added to and improved upon its line of specialty harvesting products. Today, Ploeger Machines supplies a full line of harvesters for the processing vegetable industry including harvesters for beans, peas, potatoes, carrots and spinach. Ploeger also owns the UK-based company, PMC Harvesters Ltd., which offers the green bean harvester and the well known six wheeled peaharvester.

The company operates manufacturing facilities in Oud Gastel and Roosendaal, in the Netherlands, and Fakenham United Kingdom.