As the dust settles on the dissolution of John Deere’s planned acquisition of Precision Planting, there is plenty of speculation and rumors on who will emerge as the next viable buyer.
This all depends on the direction interested companies are taking with their precision business. Monsanto has made it clear it still intends to sell the Precision Planting equipment business and “several third parties that have expressed interest in purchasing it.”
Soliciting some insight from different precision dealers, they offered a variety of outcomes — some admittedly self-serving as respective dealers of Precision Planting, Ag Leader or a potential OEM buyer.
A couple of the more interesting theories includes having Deere return to the table and possibly purchase only parts of Precision Planting’s business, or a possible merger with another precision company looking to expand its reach into the planter technology market.
Several dealers suggested Kubota as a logical buyer, given its recent momentum in becoming a full-line major manufacturer. Others suggested the termination of Deere’s pursuit opens the door for Case IH to capitalize on its existing relationship with Precision Planting.
Still others suggested AGCO as a natural fit, with some dealers pointing to recent “beta” testing the manufacturer has been doing in the field this spring.
Whichever company has its bid approved, it seems unlikely that Monsanto will include the data component of its original $250 million purchase of Precision Planting.
Steve Cubbage, owner of Record Harvest, a precision farming dealership in Nevada, Mo., says it’s worth noting that Precision Planting is being currently valued at $190 million.
“Where did that other $60 million go?,” he says. “I suspect that is where the value of the data access is and it’s not something Monsanto will want to sell. I would guess that whoever they sell the hardware business to, Monsanto will still want access to the data flowing though it. That could be an interesting negotiating tool going forward.”
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