Agco will pay Varity Corporation dollars 328m ( pounds 226m) for the manufacturing operations of Massey, which is still the world's best-selling tractor brand despite years of financial difficulties. Agco, which emerged out of the 1987 bankruptcy of Allis-Chalmers, had acquired Massey's North American distribution rights in 1991.
The offer, dollars 310m in cash with the rest in shares, topped a reported rival bid from a European group led by John Sword, Massey's former chief executive.
Massey employs 2,400 at its tractor manufacturing plant in Coventry and a further 1,100 in Beauvais, northern France. Agco, based in Georgia, will have sales of dollars 1.5bn, about 20 per cent of the world farm-equipment market.
The Massey sale was overshadowed by the announcement that Tenneco will sell 35 per cent of Case to the public, spinning off the unit as a separate entity. Despite a dollars 1.05bn operating loss as recently as 1992, the stake is expected to raise dollars 450m. Case employs 17,000 worldwide.Reuse content