Toro Buys Ditch Witch

The Toro Co. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held The Charles Machine Works, Inc., Perry, Okla. the parent company of Ditch Witch and several other brands in the underground construction market.

The deal was for $700 million in cash subject to certain adjustments set forth in the definitive agreement. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is currently anticipated to close before the end of Toro’s fiscal 2019 third quarter. For more detailed information regarding the transaction is included in an investor presentation available click here.

Reportedly, the Perry facility will remain and become the largest manufacturing operations for Toro.

Charles Machine Works designs, manufactures and sells a range of products to cover the full life-cycle of underground pipe and cable, including horizontal directional drills, walk and ride trenchers, utility loaders, vacuum excavators, asset locators, pipe rehabilitation solutions and after-market tools. The company generated calendar year 2018 revenues of approximately $725 million.

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“As an organization, Charles Machine Works aligns well with and will contribute to our own strategic priorities of profitable growth, operational excellence and empowering people,” said Richard M. Olson, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The company expands our business in a meaningful way in an adjacent category we know well through our own specialty construction business and in a market that is attractive given the potential for growth in addressing both aging infrastructure that is currently in place and new infrastructure that will be needed to support next generation technologies like 5G.”

“Culturally, our two organizations are very well aligned, and, in our past experience, that has been essential to the success of a business combination like this. We share similar people values, performance expectations, business models focused on innovation, brand and channel, and strong community ties. With its rich multigenerational family legacy, commitment to its employees and market leadership position, we have respected and admired Charles Machine Works for a long time. We were excited when joining forces became a possibility, and we know that both companies will be stronger together.”

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Toro expects to finance the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt, including from additional financing arrangements and borrowings under its existing credit facility. The all-cash purchase price of $700 million represents a multiple of approximately eight times Charles Machine Works’ calendar year 2018 EBITDA, including $30 million of anticipated annual run-rate cost synergies phased in over three years, that Toro intends to achieve through opportunities in purchasing, manufacturing best practices and administrative efficiencies. Toro expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to EPS excluding purchase accounting adjustments and transaction related expenses.

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