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MacDon reported seeking buyer via auction

Winnipeg’s MacDon Industries, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of windrowers, is looking for a buyer in a deal that could fetch around US$1 billion, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

The family-owned company specializes in making pull-type and self-propelled windrowers and specialty and pick-up headers for combines. Its disc, auger and draper products are used to harvest cereals, oilseeds, grass seeds, rice, soybeans, hay, forage, peas, lupins and lentils.

MacDon is being advised by Goldman Sachs Group on the auction that is at an early stage, and has drawn initial interest from private equity firms, two of the people said last Wednesday, asking not to be named because the matter is confidential.

A call on Tuesday (April 23) to MacDon’s head office in Winnipeg from was not immediately returned. A Goldman Sachs spokesman on Tuesday would not confirm or comment on Reuters’ report, nor confirm whether MacDon is a client of the New York investment management firm.

A separate and also-unnamed “Winnipeg source” was quoted in Friday’s Winnipeg Free Press as confirming enquiries are being made to find a buyer.

MacDon started in 1949 as Killbery Industries, which made sprayers, grain augers, discer seeders, cultivators and manure spreaders. The company then launched one of the first self-propelled windrowers, in 1951.

The company was renamed MacDon following its acquisition by the MacDonald family in 1971, and expanded into the U.S. market in 1986 through its own dealer network.

The company maintains a major manufacturing plant in Winnipeg sporting one of the largest powdercoat paint systems in North America, supplies over 700 dealers in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Russia and distributes also to 30 other countries.

MacDon last year signed a deal with ag and heavy equipment giant Deere and Co. to make several lines of self-propelled windrowers and mower conditioners, to be sold worldwide under John Deere paint.

— Reporting for Reuters by Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis. Includes files from Network.

Related story:
Deere to take MacDon windrowers global, Jan. 27, 2012

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