The Toro Company has acquired Intimidator Group, maker of the zero-turn Spartan Mowers brand, for $400 million.
It's the second-largest acquisition that Bloomington-based Toro has made in recent years, after the $700 million purchase of Charles Machine Works in 2019.
"The addition of Spartan Mowers to our portfolio strategically positions us to be an even stronger player in the large and rapidly growing zero-turn mower market," Toro chief executive Richard Olson said in a news release Friday.
Zero-turn riding mowers are able to spin around in place, making them effective for landscaping and covering a lot of ground quickly.
Toro makes a line of zero-turn mowers under its own brand and Exmark. Olson said Spartan would complement those brands and provide "opportunities to further leverage technology and design, procurement and manufacturing efficiencies."
Intimidator Group is a privately held company based in Arkansas. It also manufactures side-by-side utility vehicles. The company had $200 million in sales last year.
Robert and Becky Foster founded Intimidator Group in 2013. In a statement, they said Toro "has a rich history and proven track record of growing brands with the resources to fuel our future growth."
Spartan Mowers has strong brand recognition in the southern U.S., Toro said, "appealing to rural markets and large acreage customers."
"Spartan Mowers has regional strength in the South and has limited overlap with our existing Toro and Exmark channels," Toro Company spokesman Branden Happel said. "As the zero-turn mower market continues to be one of the largest and fastest-growing, the addition of Spartan Mowers positions us to be an even stronger player in this market."
The deal has already received regulatory approvals and was financed with cash and short-term lending.
The company had $3.9 billion in sales in its last fiscal year that ended in October.