Sold on the courthouse steps for $14.1 million, Framtrac North America has been purchased by Montana Tractors.
Framtrac shuttered its North Carolina factory and laid off its 180 employees in January. Montana had been pursuing the purchase since as early as March when Montana executives traveled to India to meet with executives of the Framtrac parent company, Escorts, Ltd.
Plans for the Framtrac facility have not yet been disclosed. The sale to Montana is expected to close on Dec. 1, and this purchase includes all tractors, the parts and assembly facility, and the company store. In December 2005, Montana bought 80+ acres of adjacent land to the Farmtrac company store.
In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Framtrac sold more than 3,300 tractors. The North Carolina facility was used for final assembly of tractor units that were shipped from South Korea and Romania as 80% completed.
It's reported Framtrac owes more than $50 million to creditors. Another bidder was South Korean-based LS Mtron, which made an initial $10 million offer.
Framtrac's story began in 1941 when the Long Manufacturing was started by William Redden "Bill" Long in Tarboro, N.C. After maintaining contracts with companies such as Ford, Long began importing tractors from Romanian Uzina Tractorul Brasov. In 1985 the company filed for bankruptcy but after reorganization was back in business by 1987. In 1998, Indian engineering conglomerate Escorts Group purchased Long Agribusiness and began selling tractors under the Framtrac brand.
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