$700m purchase of Charles Machine Works

The Toro Company in the US has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Charles Machine Works, Inc, manufacturer of the well-known Ditch Witch brand, which will see them entering into the underground construction market.

The purchase of the Oklahoma-based company is reported to be for $700 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments set forth in the definitive agreement. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is currently anticipated to close before the end of Toro’s fiscal 2019 third quarter.

Charles Machine Works designs, manufactures and sells a range of products to cover the full life-cycle of underground pipe and cable, including horizontal directional drills, walk and ride trenchers, utility loaders, vacuum excavators, asset locators, pipe rehabilitation solutions and after-market tools.

Richard M. Olson, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer said in an official statement, “The addition of Charles Machine Works will further strengthen our portfolio of market-leading brands supported by talented employees, a commitment to innovation, a best-in-class dealer network and long-standing customer relationships.

"As an organisation, Charles Machine Works aligns well with and will contribute to our own strategic priorities of profitable growth, operational excellence and empowering people. The company expands our business in a meaningful way in an adjacent category we know well through our own specialty construction business and in a market that is attractive given the potential for growth in addressing both aging infrastructure that is currently in place and new infrastructure that will be needed to support next generation technologies like 5G.”

Rick Johnson, Charles Machine Works chief executive officer, added, "From developing the world’s first service line trencher in Perry, Oklahoma, to today’s robust Ditch Witch dealer network, our family of companies is well-positioned to join The Toro Company’s family of brands. We look forward to building upon our founder’s legacy of best-in-class offerings in the expanding underground construction market.”

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