Stanley Black and Decker announced plans to acquire Excel Industries, one of the largest employers in Harvey County.
Stanley Black and Decker announced the future purchase of the Hesston company Monday morning for the price of $375 million.
Excel is the fourth largest employer in Harvey County, according to Harvey County Economic Development statistics, with approximately 630 employed locally. It produces mower brands such as Hustler and Big Dog mowers.
In a press release, Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO James M. Loree stated that the move was strategically important, as it allowed the company to build up as an outdoor products leader.
“Excel brings a range of premier, commercial-grade and prosumer turf-care equipment, an extensive dealer network, a talented team, and a loyal customer base,” he said.
Black & Decker is well known for manufacturing hand and power tools. Its website states that it is worth $14.5 billion and has 56,000 employees in more than 60 countries.
Employees of Excel have been briefed on the change of ownership.
Jennifer Leckstrom, who handles communications for Excel, provided a statement when asked for more information about the sale.
“United, our two companies will be positioned for sustainable success with a full portfolio of electric, gas and handheld tools that help cut, clean, and grow beautiful landscapes and gardens,” she stated. “Leadership at Excel Industries is excited about the possibilities this presents to help our brands grow and reach more consumers. We remain committed to our employees, our customers, and the local Hesston community.”
Along with being a large employer for the county, the company represents a sizable part of the tax base for the City of Hesston.
The company occupies a 51-acre campus at the intersection of Ridge Road and Old Highway 81.
County tax records list a property value of $7.02 million for the buildings and property at that location.
The company rose and grew with John Regier’s creation of The Hustler, the world’s first zero-turn mower, which went into production in 1964. The design helped people mow irregular yards, and zero-turn mowers are now commonplace within the mowing industry.