Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) has signed an agreement to acquire Unimil, a privately-held Brazilian company in the aftermarket service parts business for sugarcane harvesters, according to a press release from the company.
"The decision to acquire this company in the aftermarket parts business emphasizes our commitment to customers," said Cory Reed, president of Deere's Worldwide Agriculture and Turf Division in the Americas. "Unimil has earned the confidence of customers in the sugarcane parts business by providing excellent service and products."
Unimil, located in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, was founded in 1999 and has become a well-recognized provider of sugarcane harvester parts. The company has approximately 430 employees. Brazil is the number one supplier of sugarcane in the world, producing approximately one-third of the world's annual production and nearly twice as much as any other country.
In a note to investors, Stanley Elliott, analyst for Stifel, provided data on the market for sugarcane harvesters in Brazil. “Per the ANFAVEA data, Deere had about 57% market share of sugarcane harvesters in Brazil in 2018 while CNH had about 40% and AGCO about 3%.
However, the market for sugarcane harvesters is meaningfully smaller than other types of ag equipment in Brazil as there were about 670 sugarcane harvesters sold in Brazil on an LTM basis through September vs. 5,950 combines sold and 35,500 wheeled tractors.
However, sugarcane harvesters do generate meaningful aftermarket business relative to other types of ag equipment. For the third quarter of 2019, total industry sugarcane harvester sales increased 19% year-over-year (September +80%).
Reed said the addition of Unimil further illustrates John Deere's commitment to the sugarcane business in Brazil and a commitment to making investments that help customers reduce their sugarcane production costs. Deere recently introduced a new sugarcane harvester that's designed to significantly reduce production costs. Additionally, through JD Link, Deere offers connected support to maximize equipment up time and grower productivity. And now with Unimil, Deere will offer an expanded portfolio of parts.
Unimil will retain its current brand name. Deere also plans to continue the current direct-to-customer business model of selling Unimil products, while also offering dealers an opportunity to provide additional services and support to sugarcane customers.
Financial terms of the agreement are not being made public. Deere said the transaction requires customary regulatory review.