Bloomington-based Toro is spending $167.5 million to broaden its portfolio of turf equipment and snow- and ice-management products.
Toro is acquiring Venture Products Inc., which makes a variety of tractors and attachments under the Ventrac brand. Privately held Venture is based in Orrville, Ohio, which also is home to jam maker J.M. Smucker Co.
Ventrac products are used in the turf- and grounds-management industry and known for handling tough terrain like steep hillsides and soft ground. Its versatile small-tractor platform also accepts 30 attachments that tackle a variety of jobs including snow and ice management, grass and brush mowers and a variety of specialty soil and site-preparation needs.
“Ventrac is well recognized in the industry for its market-leading innovation and commitment to meeting the diverse needs of customers,” said Toro’s chairman and chief executive, Richard Olson, in a statement.
“This acquisition supports our growth strategy in the professional market with the addition of a strong brand and expanded product offering to customers in the turf, landscape, and snow and ice maintenance categories.
Venture is owned and run by the Steiner family, which had developed and made agricultural equipment and tractors before starting the Ventrac brand in 1996. The company has 325 employees and about $100 million in annual revenue.
“We are excited to become a part of the Toro Company and its family of leading brands,” said Dallas Steiner, chief executive of Venture Products Inc. “The Toro Company is committed to a culture that aligns with our employee values, has a rich history of success in the marketplace and a proven track record of growing their brands.”
The Ventrac products complement many Toro products. The articulated design of some Ventrac tractors and implements offer additional maneuverability and the ability to handle steep hillsides fits one of the few applications that existing Toro turf and grounds equipment don’t manage as well.
Toro, which outsources some of the attachments that fit its products, also picks up a manufacturer that produces its own attachments.
This is the largest acquisition by Toro since the company announced it was buying another private family-run company, the Charles Machine Works Inc., for $700 million in February 2019.
Toro shares closed at $82.79 per share, down 29 cents per share, on Tuesday. For the past 52 weeks Toro shares have traded between $58.12 and $84.26 per share.