One of Denmark’s largest farmer owned co-operatives has rescued the manufacturing operations of leading hay equipment maker JF Fabriken and two of its sales subsidiaries from bankruptcy.
Better known through its JF-Stoll brand, the business has been acquired by DLG Group, a $7 billion co-op that already owns a majority holding in Kongskilde Industries, another Danish ag equipment manufacturer.
It took just three days from the bankruptcy declaration by JF Fabriken directors to DLG completing its acquisition. Speed was essential, says chief executive officer, Asbjørn Børsting. “The situation of the company required a fast settlement in order to ensure its future operation. For DLG, taking over JF-Stoll was a very interesting possibility because it will further strengthen Kongskilde’s position in the market for agricultural implements.”
A Good Fit
The equipment offering of the two businesses appear to be a good fit, while expanding the overall product line. Kongskilde operates in the arable sector producing field and crop storage equipment, while JF-Stoll’s activities are focused on hay machinery and mobile livestock feeders.
Bringing them together — JF-Stoll will operate as a subsidiary of Kongskilde — has strategic value, says Børsting, in attracting distributors and dealers wanting a balanced package of both hay tools and tillage products.
“There will also be production processes that are very much alike so it will be possible to optimize production flow with the two different product lines,” he adds. “There should also be opportunities to cut costs through rationalized purchasing, IT, sales and marketing activities.”
JF Fabriken, which was owned by Freudendahl Invest, a holding company established by the founding family, is a 60-year old business with 230 employees and annual turnover equivalent to $40 million. Its core product line comprises mowers, tedders, rakes and trailed forage harvesters; trailed mixer-feeders were added to the product portfolio in recent years.
In addition to the manufacturing business, DLG has acquired JF-Stoll’s sales companies in Norway and Russia. Sister company Wilhelm Stoll, which manufacturers tractor loaders, and its Stoll North America subsidiary, will not be affected and will remain companies of Freudendahl Invest.
Kongskilde Industries is a significantly larger business. It generated net turnover equivalent to $291 million last year, producing tillage equipment and seed drills in Europe and the U.S., as well as grain handling and storage systems.
In recent months, Kongskilde’s U.S. and Canadian operations were consolidated and moved to Hudson, Ill., at the facilities of seeding equipment manufacturer Progressive Farm Products, which was acquired by the Danish company in June of this year