September 26, 2013

After more than 10 years of co-branding planters with Bauer Built Manufacturing Inc., John Deere is looking to purchase the Iowa-based company's assets.

The agricultural machinery manufacturer hopes to complete the purchase of Bauer Built's designs, intellectual property, inventory, Paton manufacturing property and equipment before John Deere's fiscal year ends Oct. 31.

"John Deere intends to accelerate the growth of its planter business globally," said Aaron Wetzel, vice president of the crop care platform in Deere's Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, in a news release.

Bauer Built manufactures mainly planters, which are pulled behind tractors and row crops in fields. Those products - especially the DB Series Planters, which the two companies branded together - fit what the worldwide manufacturer is looking for, said Eric Hodson, manager of strategic public relations at John Deere.

Although the Paton facility's name would change to reflect John Deere's ownership if the purchase goes through, the DB Series Planters, which are well-known in the agriculture industry, will continue to be manufactured under the same name, Hodson said.

Bauer Built employs about 150 people. Although there aren't immediate plans for John Deere to hire additional employees, the current ones will be asked to reapply for the same jobs through John Deere's application process.

"Ideally, they would all remain," Hodson said. "We'd hopefully be able to hire all those folks as long as they go through the process."

Bauer Built started as a repair shop in 1979, according to its website. It began building and selling planters about a decade later. In 2002, the company joined forces with Deere & Company, and John Deere dealers began selling Bauer Built's planter frames.

Customers' experience with the company will remain the same, Hodson said.

"There are no big changes or plans to overhaul anything," Hodson said. "There are going to be the same types of products coming out of there. It should just be business as usual, hopefully, once the deal gets done."