South African seeding technology is to be brought into the northern hemisphere as a leading seed drill company, Equalizer, based in Cape Town, is being acquired by Lemken.

The deal was announced early this year and the two companies, both family-owned, hope to have the merger finalised and clear of regulatory hurdles within a couple of months.

Low tillage

Equalizer has a focus on minimal ground disturbance and no-till farming. Its product range includes precision planters with up to 36 rows and seed drills with a working width of up to 24m.

It is in this sector of the drill market sector that Lemken finds itself without a product to offer, hence the enthusiasm for bringing the two companies together.

equalizer seed drill Cape Town
Precision seeding in low, or no-till systems is Equalizer’s forte

Anthony Van Der Ley, CEO of Lemken, believes that the Equalizer portfolio fits nicely alongside Lemken’s seed drill segment and constitutes an important building block for further growth.

“There is no overlap in our portfolios. Equalizer offers solutions for customers and markets that Lemken has not been able to serve so far. In terms of our growth strategy, the Equalizer planters and seeders – also in combination with air carts – close a current gap in our product range.”

The coulters that Equalizer has developed over the years are likely to find their way onto Lemken equipment as well.

Equalizer brings growth

The German company is working to the principle that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, it is better to progress by working with other companies, or by buying them out entirely.

Solitair Lemken seed drill
The recent introduction of the Solitair demonstrated Lemken’s ambitions to grow its drill business

This is a trend that has been growing over recent years, especially where digital technology is concerned, as the large multinationals have been snapping up much smaller companies to acquire the expertise they sorely need.

With escalating development costs, and a scarcity of staff with the right skills in any particular location, Lemken is also actively seeking new partners or companies to purchase.

Two way traffic

The company points out that it is not a one-way street; certainly in the case of Equalizer it sees Lemken expertise finding its way to South Africa and beyond.

Equalizer, which employs 180 staff, is a leading brand throughout Australia and South America, and while Lemken introduces new drills based on its products, the reverse will also occur.

Gideon Schreuder, Equalizer’s founder and managing director, said:

“We see great potential for new products with Lemken on our side, and we look forward to our future collaboration. At the same time, we are proud that this agreement reaffirms the success and hard work of the entire Equalizer team and our local dealers over the past 22 years.”

Equalizer will continue to operate in its own market as it has been doing so since its foundation, keeping both its identity and full manufacturing facilities as a subsidiary of Lemken.