Väderstad, a leading European agricultural equipment manufacturer from Sweden, has acquired the Canadian manufacturer Seed Hawk. The deal brings Väderstad closer to the North American market and opens up new possibilities for both Seed Hawk and Väderstad.
“We see great potential in Seed Hawk. One of the keys to the North American market is local presence, and Tempo, our high-speed precision planter, is a strategically important product for reaching that market. Together with Seed Hawk’s product range we increase our chances to succeed for both companies. We also see great synergies,” says Christina Stark, CEO of Väderstad.
For Väderstad, this is a deepening of the partnership that began in 2006 with the Canadian manufacturer of large seed drills. Seed Hawk is located in Langbank, Saskatchewan, which will continue to be the company’s head office and primary production site. It has 250 employees based at its Langbank, Saskatchewan site.
“Since the beginning of the cooperation, Väderstad has been impressed by Seed Hawk’s spirit, inherent power, innovations and potential for growth. Since 2006 Seed Hawk sales have increased 700%,” says Stark.
The acquisition will lead to investment in the Langbank factory, and more job opportunities will be created to enable Seed Hawk to grow. The production of Väderstad and Seed Hawk products for the North American market will be located in Langbank, Saskatchewan, for the long term.
“When Väderstad was considering investing in a North American factory, Seed Hawk management felt strongly that there was no better place to do it than Langbank, Saskatchewan,” says Pat Beaujot, Seed Hawk’s founder.
“However, in order to make an investment of that magnitude, Väderstad wanted controlling interest in the company. When my partner Brian Dean and I looked at what having an even larger factory expansion in Langbank could do for our employees, our community and our province, it just made sense for us to sell. We know Väderstad will continue to build a very strong company in Langbank, as they think very long term.”
The current general manager, Peter Clarke, will become president and CEO. “Peter has been a key part of our rapid growth in all markets over the last few years and I know he is the right person to take Seed Hawk into the future,” says Beaujot. “In addition, I’m happy to say that it will be business as usual for Seed Hawk customers, dealers and suppliers as Seed Hawk will continue to be run with its core management team.”
Beaujot says the combine experience of Seed Hawk and Väderstad will be a plus for dealers and that Väderstad will bring a high level of quality, design and innovation that is common with European manufacturers. "They have an enhanced online parts and service system, and they will brign that knowledge to our dealers here," he says.
“A very important part of the deal for us was to ensure that both Pat and Brian remain with Seed Hawk,” says Stark. “Pat and Brian will continue to work with strategic product and market development and be members of the board, which is reassuring for us. Together Pat and Brian have been leading innovation in no-â€?till seeding technology for over 20 years.”
The Swedish firm Väderstad was founded in the early 1960s by the farming family Rune and Siw Stark. The small business has grown into a company with 14 wholly owned subsidiaries engaging over 1,000 employees with presence in nearly 40 countries. Väderstad's driving force is to create flexible machines for soil tillage and drilling that do an excellent job regardless of the cropping approach. Väderstad sold $330 million of equipment to farmers in 40 countries in 2012.
About Seed Hawk
Since 1992, Seed Hawk has been building precision seeding systems to better equip farmers and improve agricultural practices. Seed Hawk manufactures state-of-the-art, zero-tillage seeding systems that are sold in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Eastern and Western Europe.