23 June 1998
Claas dismisses talk of Agco deal

CLAAS of Germany – Europes biggest manufacturer of combine harvesters – has rejected takeover advances from US agricultural machinery group Agco.

The privately owned German company said talk that Agco was keen to buy it was “wishful thinking” on the part of Robert Ratliff, Agco chairman and chief executive.

Adding further insult, Claas said it was currently in talks to buy a large tractor manufacturer based in former East Germany.

Claas said it was talking to BVS, Germanys privatisation agency for the former Communist part of the country, about buying Landtechnik Schonebeck (LTS), which in the 1980s was part of East Germanys combined group of tractor makers.

Claas saw sales rise last year by more than 30% to DM 1.9 billion ($1.06bn) with pre-tax profits up nearly 50% to DM 135m.

  • Financial Times 23/06/98 page 33