The owners of Apache sprayers manufacturer, ET Works LLC, Mooresville, Ind., have agreed a buyout by Exel Industries of France, parent group of the Berthoud, Hardi and Tecnoma sprayer companies.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome ET Works — Equipment Technologies — and its employees into our family-owned group,” said Guerric Ballu, CEO of Exel Industries. “This strategic acquisition strongly increases our presence in North America, and ET Works will benefit from Exel’s distribution networks in other parts of the world and from our innovative technologies to enhance its product range.”

Ballu adds that in line with group policy, ET Works will continue to do business with its current management under the Equipment Technologies and Apache names, and maintain its headquarters in Mooresville, Ind.

Matt Hays, CEO of Equipment Technologies commented, “We see a wonderful alignment of Exel’s drive to innovate and our management of ET for the long term. We believe that as part of Exel we will be well positioned to support our customer’s needs into the future.

He added, “The deal allows ET employees, suppliers and dealers to continue to operate in the same manner that has generated many years of exceptional performance and service to our customers.”

ET Works joins other Exel group activities in the U.S., which include sprayer sales and production at Hardi North America, Davenport, Iowa. The Danish spraying specialist Hardi is one of numerous sprayer and sugar beet businesses acquired over the years that retain their brands and management autonomy within an overall group strategy.

The Apache products manufacturer was formed in 1997 to produce tough but simple self-propelled sprayers with mechanical drive. The company sells through two distribution channels — independent dealers and its specialist ET Ag Center dealerships High Plains Apache in North and South Dakota; Ohio Valley Ag covering Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois; Southern Application Management in Minnesota; and Midwest Application in Iowa.

Apache sprayer sales revenues hit $140 million at their peak, falling to $90 million last year due to the market downturn. At Exel Industries, revenues from agricultural sprayers were €290 million ($316 million) in the 2014-15 financial year ended September, down almost 19% from the year prior and representing 40% of the group’s €725.2 million ($790 million) consolidated revenues, down 6.5%.