According to various reports, Indian tractor maker Mahindra, has raised its stake in Finland-based Sampo Rosenlew Oy to nearly 75%.

The Indian manufacturer of farm tractors has been a shareholder in Sampo Rosenlew since July 2016. Since then the two companies have closely worked on a global alliance to drive the growth of their combine harvester and forest machine businesses in various parts of the world.

In line with Mahindra's governance principles for associate companies, Sampo will continue to be run as a standalone, independent business unit while simultaneously leveraging synergies where possible.

As reported in Ag Equipment Intelligence in April 2016, the original deal, underpinned by a 35% shareholding reportedly acquired for more than $20 million, would result in the two companies jointly developing combine business in India, China, Africa and the Middle East. Mahindra will also supply the combines to selected markets in which it is already active.

Despite being a relatively small manufacturer with turnover in the order of $123 million, Sampo-Rosenlew has successfully sustained a position in the combine market by focusing on small-to-medium capacity machines and reaching mutually beneficial partnerships for distribution, service support and local assembly.

Up until last year the Finnish manufacturer supplied one of its straw walker models to John Deere to fill a niche that a major manufacturer had difficulty with because of the low volumes involved.

Ag Equipment Intelligence reported last November that 6 years after agreeing to a European distribution arrangement, combine manufacturer Sampo-Rosenlew and John Deere are parting company.

Managers at the Finnish company said that to speed up company growth, they decided to develop a network of independent dealers in the European Union and supply the machines under the Sampo-Rosenlew name once more. They also plan to further expand the range over the coming years.

The move follows the appointment in August of Karl-Wilhelm Hundertmark as sales and marketing director for combines, who brings long term combine sales experience at Claas, and new CEO Jussi Malmi at the beginning of last year.

Malmi said, “As part of our plan to grow in Europe, Sampo-Rosenlew and Deere & Co. agreed to discontinue current distribution collaboration in these markets. Both companies are committed to provide full support and spare part service for the products in the field.”

Ditching the Deere arrangement is the latest in a succession of on/off partnerships with other agricultural equipment manufacturers, including AGCO’s Massey Ferguson and SDF Group’s Deutz-Fahr.