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Deere deep in paving equipment with Wirtgen deal

Deere & Co. will significantly expand its construction equipment market stake with a $5.2 billion acquisition of Germany’s Wirtgen Group, projected to close later this year. Wirtgen encompasses namesake concrete paving equipment plus five other brands of milling, processing, mixing, paving, compaction and rehabilitation machines and tools deployed throughout road work and aggregates production: Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, Benninghoven and Ciber.

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Wirtgen unveiled the 64i and two companion SP 60 slipform paver models at the 2017 ConExpo-Con/Agg, billing the series as a higher power, Tier 4 Final successor to the SP 500. The exclusive Eco mode lowers fuel consumption by automatically adapting engine output to power requirements.

The group’s global footprint encompasses approximately 8,000 employees and network of company-owned or independent dealers selling and supporting contractors in 100-plus countries. “Wirtgen’s superb reputation, strong customer relationships and demonstrated financial performance are attractive as we expand the reach of John Deere construction equipment to more customers, markets and geographies,” says Deere CEO Samuel Allen.

“Spending on road construction and transportation projects has grown at a faster rate than the overall construction industry and tends to be less cyclical,” adds Deere Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division President Max Guinn. “There is recognition globally that infrastructure improvements must be a priority and roads and highways are among the most critical in need of repair and replacement.”

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Also shown in Las Vegas was the TCM 180i, a new texture curing machine equipped for 13-ft. 1-in. to 59-ft. 1-in. working widths, plus capabilities beyond transverse or longitudinal brooming and spraying.

Deere plans to maintain Wirtgen brands, management, manufacturing, employees and distribution. The combined business is expected to benefit from sharing best practices in distribution, customer support, manufacturing and technology, plus scale and efficiency of operations.