John Deere’s planned acquisition of Precision Planting just hit a major roadblock.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Deere over the deal, citing concerns about lack of competition and likely higher costs for U.S. farmers.
In a joint statement, Deere and The Climate Corp. said they expected to fight the government’s decision.
“DOJ’s allegations about the competitive impacts of the transaction are misguided and the companies intend to defend the transaction vigorously against those allegations,” the statement said. “Deere has long been focused on helping American farmers become more efficient and productive so that they can remain globally competitive. The proposed acquisition benefits farmers by accelerating the development and delivery of new precision equipment solutions that help farmers increase yield and productivity.”
Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., also addressed the DOJ's announcement.
"We understand the Department of Justice has a job to do; however, the Climate Corporation continues to believe that the sale of Precision Planting to Deere & Company will be beneficial to farmers. This transaction will create value by delivering broader access to precision equipment advancements that help farmers increase yield and productivity," Stern said in a statement. "Deere & Company and The Climate Corporation plan to defend the transaction on its merits. Climate’s business is strong, and our focus continues to be on growing our digital agriculture and precision hardware business to provide farmers with solutions to help them improve their productivity."