Agri-Service employee-owners set to vote on sale
By John O’Connell
The Boise-based company that owns Western States Equipment Caterpillar dealerships intends to acquire Agri-Service, Inc., North America’s largest Massey Ferguson dealership.
The Terteling Co.’s proposed acquisition will take effect Nov. 1, pending approval by the majority of participants in Agri-Service’s employee stock ownership plan.
Agri-Service Chief Operating Officer Clint Schnoor said employees were given through Oct. 25 to vote on the acquisition.
“Our responses from meetings have been favorable. We would expect it would be approved,” Schnoor said three days prior to the vote.
Agri-Service has 10 locations throughout Idaho, Oregon and Utah. Western States, which operates 13 Caterpillar dealerships with branches throughout Idaho, eastern Oregon, Washington, Montana and western Wyoming, would relinquish the agricultural aspect of its business to Agri-Service in communities served by both companies.
Among the new Agri-Service offerings would be AGCO’s Challenger brand of tractors, Ag-Chem equipment and associated products, parts and services. Western States intends to focus more on heavy construction equipment but would retain Challenger and Ag-Chem products at its Pasco, Wash.; Pendleton, Ore.; and Lewiston, Idaho, locations.
“Our primary concern for both companies is making sure our customers are taken care of and transitioned appropriately,” Schnoor said.
Schnoor said Agri-Service would keep its full workforce of 175 and remain a stand-alone business. Agri-Service founder and CEO Cleve Buttars would assist with the transition and then assume an advisory role with the company. Schnoor is slated to become the new Agri-Service president.
Schnoor said a few Western States workers would likely come over to Agri-Service, but most of the Western States staff is cross trained to cover multiple jobs and wouldn’t be too disrupted by the acquisition.