Continental acquires American belting manufacturer WCCO Belting to strengthen its agricultural business
By Sector ContiTechGeneral
Fairlawn, OH, USA, July 5, 2022. Continental acquires family-owned belting manufacturer WCCO Belting headquartered in Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA. With this acquisition, the technology company complements its conveyor belting customer portfolio and strengthens its Conveying Solutions business in the agricultural industry. Additionally, equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and farmers will benefit from a combined product and service portfolio generating a full multi-tier offering that will enable better support and service. “This strategic acquisition is a threefold perfect fit: portfolio, sales market and people. Moreover, we continue our transformation towards a holistic solutions provider in one of the growing industries, namely the off-highway industry”, says Philip Nelles, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of the ContiTech Group Sector. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the transaction.
Focus on growing agricultural industry
Fueled by the mega-trend in global population growth, protein demand, and climate-change-induced crop pressure, Continental expects that global demand for food and feed will continue to rise and change in the coming decades. World Business Council for Sustainable Development, FReSH insight report and the Boston Consulting Group estimate that the trend is also based on global rapid population growth in the global middle class: With nearly 5 billion people in 2030, their share will have increased almost fivefold over the past three decades. With a much larger global population, rising living standards, and a change in attitudes to nutrition, transparency, and sustainability, dietary habits are becoming more diverse and demanding worldwide.
That’s why Continental’s ContiTech Group Sector continues to focus on growing their share in the agricultural industry. With three-fourths of WCCO’s business in the agricultural industry the acquisition underlines the company’s commitment. WCCO’s product portfolio has a strong market position, serves a complementary customer base, and enjoys a favorable global reputation. Additionally, combining both product portfolios generate a full multi-tier offering that enables better support to manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and farmers.
“We intend to leverage and grow our manufacturing capability to elevate Continental’s opportunity in this area and to offer complete technical solutions to manufacturers and distributors with the goal to improve profitability and speed to market with new innovations and products”, explains Jim Hill, Head of the Group Sector’s North American business. Song Qi, Head of ContiTech’s Conveying Solutions Business Area adds that Continental will boost sales of high value specialty belts in the global marketplace as well as make use of Continentals global sales team to further expand WCCO Belting’s business outside of the Americas.
In his welcoming remarks Hill expressed his great pleasure: “We are all delighted to welcome you, the experienced and dedicated WCCO employees, to our Continental team. I am convinced that we will learn from each other and grow together to best serve our customers’ needs. We both, Continental and WCCO, are striving for excellence and focus on a customer centric approach which unites us.”
WCCO Belting is specialized in agricultural, aggregates and construction industries belting
Established in 1954, WCCO Belting has more than 300 employees. It manufactures and distributes farm machinery applications such as draper belts, baler belts, pickup belts, tube conveyor belts, merger belts, as well as industrial belt applications for material and package handling, recycling, forestry, and aggregates. “We perfectly fit to Continental as we share the same passion for our industries. Everything we do is to better support our current and prospective customers’ needs based on our longstanding experience and with our team’s dedication contributing to the process of creating custom rubber products that impact businesses across the world. We are very much looking forward to our future common path,” says WCCO Belting’s CEO and President Tom Shorma.
The company distributes to more than 20 countries. WCCO Belting is known for its belting innovation, which helps meet the unique needs of its customers around the world. By designing each product according to the operational requirements of a specific application, the belts consistently outperform the industry standard in numerous product segments. This effectively lowers the total cost of ownership of equipment for operators.
Continental has been advancing innovation in agriculture for 150 years
Continental has and will continue to play a pioneering role in the modernization of agriculture, also as an experienced and reliable partner in the transformation toward Farm 2030. It all began with motorization and today extends to digitalization and automation, which is associated with a substantial increase in productivity and crop yields. Everyone is talking about smart farming – and it’s no coincidence that Continental calls intelligent agriculture the nutrient for the field of the future.
Since its foundation in 1871, Continental has helped shape the development of agriculture with numerous innovations in rubber, plastic, sensor technology and electronics – from hoof buffers for horses through to autonomous field robots. Continental has been contributing to innovative agricultural technology for 150 years, making processes more productive, sustainable, hygienic, and safer.
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2021, Continental generated sales of €33.8 billion and currently employs more than 190,000 people in 58 countries and markets. On October 8, 2021, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary.