MILAN (Reuters) – Italian-American vehicle maker CNH Industrial has acquired U.S. company Augmenta, valuing its strategic partner at $110 million, in a bid to help farmers harness technology to increase the effectiveness of crop spraying.
CNH, a maker of farm machinery and construction equipment sees so-called precision technologies as a key competitive feature in its agriculture business, its largest one.
The group, whose revenue topped $25 billion in 2022, has said it was pursuing an estimated contribution from precision technology components of $1 billion to this year’s net sales.
The deal is aimed at speeding up development of Augmenta’s technologies based on sensor-detected data during the spraying process, CNH said in a statement.
Augmenta’s work in this area also includes the development of a multispectral camera and software that monitors a machine’s operating environment and acts directly via the machine, it added.
It offers farmers savings in the amounts of herbicide, fungicide, fertiliser and other plant growth treatments.
CNH already owned a 10.5% stake in Augmenta through its venture capital arm CNH Industrial Ventures.
“This is an important development for our Agriculture business that will further support our dealers by differentiating our equipment through value-added technology,” said CNH’s Chief Digital Product Officer Parag Garg.
Augmenta will operate within the group’s U.S. unit Raven and will maintain its existing employees and offices in Greece and U.S..
The deal, which will be funded with available cash, is expected to be closed in the first quarter, CNH Industrial said.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Keith Weir)