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Ag business looks to gain benefit from worldwide network

Thursday, July 12, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Following last week's announcement that local agricultural equipment dealership Curly Olney's had finalized terms with new ownership, Titan Machinery Inc., store manager Mark Fletcher was unexpectedly faced with calls from customers this week concerned that some services would be discontinued.

"It was very important to me that the new ownership group continue to uphold the level of service our customers were used to and that both our customers and employees be taken care of," said Fletcher, who added that he was confident the operation was positioning itself for improvement and expansion of services, not the opposite.

Fletcher was co-owner of the Curly Olney's operation and agreed to stay on board as the store manager of the McCook location. Fletcher said a critical part of his support of the sale to Titan Machinery, was ensuring his employees and customers would be taken care of.

Fletcher said he was excited about the opportunities that joining the larger Titan Machinery network presented for the local business and he was confident they had every intention of growing the business that Curly Olney's had built over the last 40 years. Titan Machinery consists of 98 dealerships in nine states, as well as 10 European dealerships.

"There intent is to invest further in training and resources in both locations, Imperial and McCook, to expand upon our services and operations," said Fletcher.

Mark Jones, acquisition coordinator for Titan Machinery, echoed Fletcher's comments and said reducing services after an acquisition was not typical. Jones said that a similar acquisition in 2009 of six Fairbanks International dealerships, located in North Platte, Kearney, Grand Island, Lexington, Holdrege and Hastings, did not result in any services being discontinued after Titan Machinery acquired the operations.

"There will obviously be some changes, as when any business experiences an ownership change, but we are confident they will ultimately result in access to a greater selection of equipment for our customers and even faster in-field repairs," said Jones.

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