Continental acquires US belt maker WCCO Belting to strengthen agricultural business


Fairlawn, OH, USA, July 5, 2022. Continental acquires family-owned belt manufacturer WCCO Belting headquartered in Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA. With this acquisition, the technology company completes its customer portfolio of conveyor belts and strengthens its Conveying Solutions business in the agricultural industry. Additionally, equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers and farmers will benefit from a combined portfolio of products and services generating a comprehensive multi-level offering that will enable better support and service. “This strategic acquisition is a perfect triple match: portfolio, sales market and people. Additionally, we are continuing our transformation into a holistic solutions provider in one of the growing industries, namely the off-road industry,” says Philip Nelles, Continental Board Member and ContiTech Group Sector Head. . Both parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the transaction.

Focus on the growth of the agricultural industry
Fueled by the megatrend of global population growth, demand for protein and pressure on crops induced by climate change, Continental expects global demand for food and feed to continue to grow and change over the coming decades. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the FReSH insight report and the Boston Consulting Group believe that the trend is also based on the rapid demographic growth of the global middle class: with nearly 5 billion people in 2030, their share will have almost quintupled. over the past three decades. With a much larger global population, rising standards of living and changing attitudes towards nutrition, transparency and sustainability, eating habits are becoming more diverse and demanding around the world.

That’s why Continental’s ContiTech Group segment continues to focus on growing its share in the agriculture industry. With three-quarters of WCCO’s business in the agriculture industry, the acquisition underscores the company’s commitment. WCCO’s product portfolio has a strong market position, serves a complementary customer base and enjoys a favorable global reputation. In addition, the combination of the two product portfolios generates a comprehensive multi-level offer that allows better support for manufacturers, distributors, resellers and farmers.

“We intend to leverage and expand our manufacturing capability to expand Continental’s opportunities in this area and offer comprehensive technical solutions to manufacturers and distributors with the goal of improving cost efficiency and speed of market with new innovations and new products”, explains Jim Hill, head of the North American activity of the Group Sector. Song Qi, ContiTech’s Conveying Solutions Business Area Manager, adds that Continental will drive sales of high-value specialty belts in the global market and will use Continental’s global sales team to further expand WCCO Belting’s business by outside of the Americas.

In his welcoming remarks, Hill expressed his great pleasure: “We are all delighted to welcome you, the experienced and dedicated employees of WCCO, to our Continental team. I am convinced that we will learn from each other and grow together to better meet the needs of our customers. We, Continental and WCCO, strive for excellence and focus on a customer-centric approach that unites us.

WCCO Belting specializes in belting for agriculture, aggregates and construction
Founded in 1954, WCCO Belting has over 300 employees. It manufactures and distributes agricultural machinery applications such as draping belts, baler belts, pick-up belts, pipe conveyor belts, fusion belts, as well as industrial belt applications for material handling. materials and packaging, recycling, forestry and aggregates. “We fit perfectly with Continental because we share the same passion for our industries. Everything we do is to better meet the needs of our current and potential customers based on our long experience and the dedication of our team that contributes to the process of creating custom rubber products that impact businesses around the world. entire. We look forward to our common future path,” says WCCO Belting CEO and President Tom Shorma.

The company distributes in more than 20 countries. WCCO Belting is known for belting innovation that helps meet the unique needs of customers around the world. By designing each product to the operational requirements of a specific application, belts consistently exceed industry standards in many product segments. This effectively reduces the total cost of ownership of the equipment for operators.

Continental has been advancing innovation in agriculture for 150 years
Continental has played and will continue to play a pioneering role in the modernization of agriculture, also as an experienced and reliable partner in the transformation to Farm 2030. It all started with motorization and now extends to digitalization and automation, which is associated with a substantial increase in productivity and crop yields. Everyone talks about smart farming – and it’s no coincidence that Continental calls smart farming the nutrient for the field of the future.

Since its founding in 1871, Continental has helped shape the development of agriculture with many innovations in rubber, plastics, sensor technology and electronics – from horse hoof stamps to autonomous land. 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 the sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company provides safe, efficient, smart and affordable solutions for vehicles, machinery, traffic and transportation. In 2021, Continental achieved sales of 33.8 billion euros and currently employs more than 190,000 people in 58 countries and markets. On October 8, 2021, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary.

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