Implement manufacturer Salford Farm Machinery Ltd. of Ontario, Canada, has partnered with a private equity firm, the equipment company announced Thursday. GenNx360 wants to help Salford put more of its existing machines into the hands of farmers while expanding its footprint in seeding and fertilizer application in the future, says Anson Boak, Salford marketing manager.
"It’s not the first time that Salford has looked at finding an investment partner to help continue the pace of growth here," Boak explains. "What we found in GenNx was an investment group that had a keen eye for engineering and manufacturing and were interested in helping us build our brand."
Founded in 1978, Salford manufactures the Independent Series of machines as well as additional equipment for primary and secondary tillage, seeding and fertilizing. Salford’s operations and workforce will remain unchanged, Boak says. Already, GenNx360 has signed off on plans to expand Salford manufacturing facilities in Osceola, Iowa.
At the heart of the company’s growth is the success of the Independent Series tillage machines, Boak explains. "It’s really growing into mainstream practice where farmers are looking to reduce the amount of tillage but still find, with modern crop genetics, tougher stalks that must be broken down," he says.
The company’s global sales network comprises more than 300 dealers and distributors. In recent years, it has gained market share in Europe’s former Eastern Bloc countries through a joint venture with Russia-based Omsk, Boak says. It has become more competitive in selling equipment for dryland farming and also in western Canada, farther north than its traditional service area.
Meanwhile, the company is "steadily pushing south in the U.S.," expanding on the range of climates in which its machines can be competitive.
Salford’s highlights include its strong brand, patented technology and extensive network of dealers, says Matt Guenther, partner, GenNx360.
"We expect to build on Salford’s strengths by leveraging our operational expertise and executing on identified growth opportunities, both organically and through add-on acquisitions," Guenther notes.
In past efforts to find an investor, Boak says, Salford representatives found themselves across the table from bankers more interested in ag company’s finances. In GenNx360, he says, Salford will have a partner.
"We found a group that is coming largely from engineering and manufacturing background," he explains. "They’ve had success in their own right in different industries using those skills in operations and engineering, and now they’re looking for companies they can help with some of their expertise. In Salford, they saw a company really focused on innovation and engineering."