Titan Machinery supercharged its entry into Europe by buying the Bulgaria-based Rimex dealership network, boosting efforts to "capitalise on the global agriculture economy".
US-based Titan, which sells farm equipment sold under CNH Global brands such as Case and New Holland, said it expected to close next month the purchase of Rimex, which owns seven dealerships.
The deal represents Titan's second in the Europe Union, a region it entered in November through the purchase of AgroExpert in Romania, realising long-held ambitions to expand out of the US.
It also extends an agribusiness deal wave which, in Europe alone so far this year, has seen US agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland buy three elevators in Slovakia, Japan-based Kubota purchase 79% of Norwegian farm equipment maker Kvernland, and Germany's Theo Muller pay £280m for UK milk supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies.
'Leverage our operations'
David Meyer, the Titan chairman and chief executive, said the deal would enable the company "to leverage our operations in Eastern Europe following our recent expansion into Romania".
It would also allow the group, which operates 82 dealerships in the US, to "further capitalise on the global agriculture economy to complement our core growth efforts in the Upper Midwest".
"We are excited to expand our international presence," Mr Meyer said.
However, CNH Global itself has forecast a sharp slowdown in world tractor market growth this year to 0-5%, from 12% last year.
Europe, the former Soviet Union and Middle East, will see a a flat market, after enjoying 25% expansion last year, CNH said two weeks ago.
Big sector in small player
Bulgaria represents one of the smaller agricultural producers in the European Union, with a grains harvest, mainly wheat, of a little over 7m tonnes last year well behind the roughly 21m tonnes in Romania.
Top producer France had a harvest of well over 60m tonnes.
However, agriculture "is a substantial part of [Bulgaria's] national economy", Titan said. It provides 5.2% of Bulgarian economic output, compared with 1.7% in France, according to official US data.
Rimex, which reported revenues of m in its latest financial year, has been selling CNH products since 1992, two years after it was founded.
The business will, under Titan ownership, continue to be run by its existing managers, with its former owner retaining a small investment.
Titan shares closed up 2.3% at $28.17 on the Nasdaq exchange.