AGCO, a company that has grown by purchasing many other companies, has just announced a major acquisition. AGCO will pay $940 million for GSI Holdings Corp., a major manufacturer of grain-handling equipment, which is currently owned by Centerbridge Partners. The purchase should be completed by the end of 2011.

GSI posts more than $700 million in annual sales and is headquartered in Assumption, Ill. Its current owners are based in New York. GSI markets its equipment and storage facilities through 500 independent dealers globally.

GSI will join many well-known brands under the AGCO umbrella. AGCO, which has been in existence 21 years, has purchased more than 20 companies, with most of the purchases made from 1990 to 2004. Recently, AGCO has consolidated some brands and reports it is spending more research and engineering money on new technology to increase its competitive edge in the farm equipment market. But company officials state they are always open to more acquisitions if a company fits.

"GSI is an excellent fit with AGCO and will allow us to extend our reach in the agricultural industry and provide our customers with an even wider range of products and services," stated Martin Richenhagen, AGCO's CEO. "With its high-quality products and services, recognized brands and global capabilities, GSI gives us strong positions in the grain storage and protein production segments and is well positioned to benefit from increases in global grain and food demand."

GSI’s CEO Scott Clawson said, “Today marks the beginning of a very exciting chapter for GSI. Through this combination, we will create a stronger business for our customers and employees that will allow us to maximize our growth opportunities, both domestically and abroad. GSI's long and proud history will continue as part of the AGCO family.”