Caterpillar Inc. to sell purpose-built forestry business

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Earlier this week, Caterpillar Inc. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement with Weiler Forestry, Inc. to sell Caterpillar’s purpose-built forestry business. The closing is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2019 and includes the manufacturing location in LaGrange.

According to a Caterpillar press release, the definitive agreement follows a preliminary agreement between the two companies, which was previously announced on Aug. 29.

“We remain committed to supporting our forestry customers and the forestry industry,” said Ramin Younessi, Caterpillar Construction Industries Group President. “Caterpillar and our dealers have an established relationship with Weiler that spans many years. The process of developing this binding agreement has further enhanced our confidence in Weiler’s ability to deliver purpose-built forestry machines, while Caterpillar continues to offer forestry excavators and other core equipment, allowing the dealers to provide a complete product portfolio and the optimal solution for forestry customers.”

According to the press release, the sale of the purpose-built forestry business enables Caterpillar to further align its resources to deliver products that meet customer needs across a broad variety of applications. The company will continue to provide forestry excavators designed for log loading, processing and other forestry applications, in addition to supplying core Caterpillar equipment to the forestry industry.

With this agreement, Weiler will acquire Caterpillar’s purpose-built forestry product line consisting of wheel skidders, track feller bunchers, wheel feller bunchers and knuckleboom

loaders, and operations facilities in LaGrange; Auburn, Alabama; and Smithfield, North Carolina. It was previously reported that 270 employees work in the Caterpillar purpose-built forestry business, all of whom Weiler plans to retain them.

A company spokesperson said wheel skidders, track feller bunchers, wheel feller bunchers and knuckleboom loaders are manufactured at the facility in LaGrange.

Upon the closing of the sale, Weiler Forestry will design and manufacture purpose-built forestry products, which will continue to be available through the Cat dealer network.

“We are very excited to add Weiler-branded purpose-built forestry equipment to our product portfolio,” said Pat Weiler, owner and founder of Weiler, Inc. “Since the initial announcement, I’ve met with numerous Cat dealers and forestry customers. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and provided us with valuable feedback as we make plans to expand the existing forestry product line. We are eager to complete the acquisition and get to work.”