AGI finalizes purchase of Westeel

Westeel, a famous name on the Prairies, is now part of Ag Growth International, a global manufacturer of grain handling equipment.

Winnipeg-based AGI completed its purchase of Westeel for $221.5 million last week.

“The strategic acquisition of Canada’s leading brand in grain storage further establishes AGI as a global leader in grain handling and storage solutions,” said Gary Anderson, AGI’s chief executive officer.

AGI builds storage bins, grain augers, belt conveyors, aeration equipment and grain drying systems at manufacturing plants in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Finland.

Its brands include Batco Manufacturing conveyors, Hi Roller conveyors, Westfield Industries augers, Tramco bulk handling equipment and Twister grain bins.

AGI announced its plan to buy Westeel in November.

Anderson said AGI was eyeing Westeel for a while because grain storage bins complement AGI’s lineup. It pounced when an opportunity arose last fall.

“The reality is that it (became) available…. It really wasn’t at other times,” said Anderson.

“We had to go our own way for a while but never quit our desire to dance with the prettiest girl in the room.”

In 2014, the combined revenue of the two companies was more than $600 million.

The name Westeel, or Westeel Rosco, is hard to miss in Western Canada. The brand is painted on thousands of grain storage bins from Steinbach, Man. to Stony Plain, Alta.

The company, founded in 1905 as a ceiling and roofing firm in Winnipeg, began manufacturing steel grain storage bins in the 1920s.

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