World’s third largest tractor manufacturer by volume Tafe has acquired Serbian tractor and agriculture equipment brand IMT – Industrija Masina i Traktora for an undisclosed sum. “IMT is an iconic tractor brand is a pioneer in farm mechanization and tractor technology with a wide range of implements and tractors suitable for cultivating agricultural land, vineyards and orchards and used for infrastructure applications” said the company in a statement. “The implements range includes ploughs, trailers, maize planters, seed drills, cultivators and loader forklifts.” With its indigenous R&D, IMT produces a range of tractors between 35 hp and 220 hp and is a popular tractor brand in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and the Balkans. TAFE’s has had a long association with IMT spanning many decades through business cooperation that involved the supply of components, aggregates and technical support. “TAFE will support its local partner with supply of components and aggregates for the rollout of IMT tractors in Serbia and allied markets” the statement read. “TAFE and IMT have shared a long mutually beneficial cooperation. This acquisition will play a key role in TAFE’s strategic and growth plans for the future,” said Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman&CEO, TAFE.
Through this acquisition TAFE acquires the right to use the brand and Intellectual Property Rights, including the Designs, Trademarks and Copyright (IPR) of IMT. Indian tractor makers have been picking up tractor and implement companies overseas to act as a buffer against the cyclicality of the Indian market. M&M for example has acquired 33% stake in Mitsubishi Mahindra Agricultural Machinery, Japan; 35% stake in Sampo Rosenlew, Finland and 100% in Erkunt Traktor as well as 80-100% stake in subsidiary foundry Erkunt Sanayi both Turkish companies. As for Tafe this is its third major acquisition after the Eicher deal and the $140 million investment in AGCO.