Two leading High Plains John Deere dealerships join forces to create a ‘merger of equals’
BRIDGEPORT, Neb. and FORT MORGAN, Colo. – Two of the High Plains’ leading John Deere dealerships have announced a merger that will provide customers with even more resources, technology and service. Kay Jan, Inc, headquartered in Fort Morgan, Colo., and 21st Century Equipment, headquartered in Bridgeport, Neb., have announced their merger as of May 1, 2011. The merged company will be called 21st Century Equipment.
“This is not an acquisition of one company by another. It is truly a merger of equals,” said Owen Palm, who will serve as chief executive officer of the firm. Palm is currently CEO and general manager of 21st Century Equipment, headquartered in Bridgeport, Neb. “We’re creating an even stronger John Deere dealership with the expertise, market breadth, knowledge and financial footings to provide our customers with an even more robust, reliable, and responsive local resource.”
Jeff Bieber, current president of Kay Jan, will serve as chief operations officer of the merged company. “This new company is positioned to serve customers across the High Plains with leading edge ag technology over the long haul as agriculture is faced with challenge and opportunity,” Bieber said. “With this merger, our customers will enjoy the best technology, competitive pricing and the trusted John Deere name – supported by an even higher level of service.”
In addition to its Fort Morgan headquarters, Kay Jan has Colorado locations in Flagler, Akron, and Cheyenne Wells, plus a location in Leoti, Kan. 21st Century Equipment has Nebraska locations in Alliance, Gordon, Imperial, Ogallala, and Sidney in addition to its Bridgeport headquarters.
Kay Jan has built a solid reputation for parts and service, while 21st Century Equipment is well known for its expertise in technology and innovation. “With the merger, customers in both markets will be able to tap into the strengths of both,” said Palm. “Customers will have greater parts inventory and availability and a broader range of equipment and technology from which to choose.”
The biggest change that Kay Jan customers will see is the name of the company, as the merged firm will assume the 21st Century Equipment name. “Over the years, it has been the people and the relationships that have built the Kay Jan brand, not the name on the building,” said Bieber. “Our customers will still enjoy the high level of service they’ve come to expect from the same familiar faces. The 21st Century Equipment name is more reflective of the forward-looking market leadership that Owen and I perceive will be achieved by this newly merged company.”
Palm said the transition has been incredibly smooth. “As we have been working through business issues and processes, it’s been gratifying and exciting to discover just how similar our two cultures are,” Palm said. “It’s basically good people doing good work for great customers – and that’s why both companies have been successful.”
Customers with questions about the merger are invited to contact: Jeff Bieber at (970) 867-9434 or Owen Palm at (308) 631-0082.
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