Buhler Industries, the Winnipeg-based company that is the last surviving tractor manufacturer in Canada, has been acquired by a Turkish agricultural equipment company.
Basak Tractors, a division of ASKO Holdings, will pay a total of $60.5 million for 97 per cent of the shares of Buhler Industries that had been held by Combine Factory Rostselmash Ltd., a Russian company that acquired controlling interest in Buhler in 2007.
The deal, which includes covering debts that Buhler owes Rostselmash is to close by the end of the year or early 2024.
Officials from Buhler Industries as well as industry observers believe it’s a deal that will benefit the on-going future of the enterprise that has been fairly hard hit by the disruptions from post-pandemic supply chain issues.
Buhler employs more than 800 people in plants in Winnipeg, where it makes the Versatile-brand tractors and tillage equipment and in Morden where it makes the Farm King brand grain and hay handling equipment and compacting equipment.
Basak makes tractors up to 120 horse power (compared to Versatile’s much larger 170-to-620 horsepower machines). About 80 per cent of its sales are in Turkey, but it also exports as far afield as Africa, South America and Japan.