Equipment maker on the auction block

Rumors are rife that windrower king MacDon is up for sale and being shopped around.

Reuters News Agency reported that multiple unnamed sources said Goldman Sachs had been hired to find a buyer for the tightly held family company, which is controlled by the MacDonald family of Winnipeg.

Local farm machinery manufacturing sources confirmed that companies are being contacted to see if they would be interested in buying MacDon.

Possible matches for MacDon could include Agco, Versatile, the Winnipeg-based tractor manufacturer whose Russian owners have been clear about wanting to increase their line of products, and John Deere, with whom MacDon already has a relationship and manufactures John Deere-branded products.

Other options include international farm equipment manufacturing companies that might want to develop a North American presence, and a growing pool of investment money that is available to the world’s burgeoning agriculture industry.

As well, private equity funds that are looking for non-publicly traded agricultural investments could find MacDon a perfect vehicle to use to get into the booming agricultural equipment market.

MacDon was formed in 1949 as Killbery Industries, manufacturing an array of farm machinery products. It developed one of the first self-propelled windrowers in 1951, a type of product that made it world famous amongst farmers.

The MacDonald family bought the company in 1971. As a private company, its financial results are not publicly known, but it is believed to be profitable. Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs was attempting to create an auction for the company, hoping get more than $1 billion for it.

The company is well-loved by prairie farmers and often hosts groups of farmers for tours.

The company also prides itself on a commitment to worker safety and has held promotional events for occupational health and safety initiatives at its main plant.

The company manufactures self-propelled and pull-type windrowers and headers, painting most of them in its well-recognized shade of red and black.

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