Swedish equipment firm buys Seed Hawk

A small hamlet in southeastern Saskatchewan will be the base for a prominent Swedish planting and tillage equipment maker to set itself up in the North American ag market.

Vaderstad-Verken AB on Oct. 17 announced it will buy full ownership of Seed Hawk, the Langbank, Sask.-based air seeder manufacturer in which it’s held a minority stake since 2006. Financial terms of the deal between the two privately held companies, won’t be disclosed, Seed Hawk co-founder Pat Beaujot said in an interview.

In a release, Vaderstad CEO Christina Stark described the deal as a strategically important decision for the company, as a local presence on the North American market is “necessary for success” here.

“We are convinced that continuing growth on the world market is necessary,” she said. “Through this acquisition, we achieve geographical, technological and commercial expansion, as well as positive synergy effects.”

All aspects of Vaderstad’s North American sales, distribution and R+D will be handled from Langbank, about 150 km south of Yorkton, Beaujot said. The North American operations will be operated as a sister company to Vaderstad rather than as a daughter company, he added.

Seed Hawk will remain a separate company, with its head office and plant at Langbank. Its current general manager, Peter Clarke, will become CEO of Seed Hawk.

Beaujot and Seed Hawk co-founder Brian Dean, meanwhile, will remain on the Seed Hawk board and work on “strategic product and market development,” the company said. Stark said the continued presence of the Seed Hawk founders was “a very important part of the deal.”

Beaujot added it will be “business as usual for Seed Hawk customers, dealers and suppliers as Seed Hawk will continue to be run with its core management team.”

Seed Hawk began with a prototype seeder and opener, built for zero-till use at the Beaujot farm at Langbank in 1992 and displayed that summer at the Farm Progress Show in Regina.

The company was incorporated that fall, named in “tribute to the hawks that follow the seeder looking for mice.”

Apart from its current expansion in progress, the company now operates on over 75,000 square feet of manufacturing space at Langbank and employs over 190 people, selling zero-till seeding systems in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.

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