Deere and Company and Lesco, a supplier of lawn care and golf course products, have entered a definitive merger agreement for Deere to acquire Lesco for $14.50 per common share in cash.
Lesco, based in Cleveland, Ohio, supplies consumable products such as seed, fertilizers and turf care chemicals and equipment. Once the merger closes, Lesco will become part of John Deere Landscapes, a wholesale distributor of landscape, irrigation, nursery and lighting materials.
Nate Jones, president, commercial and consumer division of Deere and Company, says the merger is part of Deere’s targeted growth. The company looks for commercial opportunities to attract new customers and provide new products and services for existing customers. “We have a strong commitment to serve professional landscaping and golf professionals,” Jones says.
Jeffrey Rutherford, Lesco’s president and chief executive officer, says the merger is part of the company’s efforts to increase shareholder value and will benefit shareholders. “Lesco, a strong leader in its segment of the market, now joins with John Deere to provide a more complete set of products and services,” Rutherford says.
Store locations for John Deere Landscapes will nearly double as a result of the merger with the addition of Lesco’s 332 stores. Combining the two companies will increase their presence across the U.S., increase the amount of consumable products sold by John Deere Landscapes and expand the customer base for the companies.
Lesco’s board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and recommends that the shareholders approve the agreement as well. The transaction is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2007.