Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) announced today it would begin reviewing the strategic options for its irrigation unit known as John Deere Water Operations, which is a part of its Agriculture & Turf line of business.
This follows the announcement of a pre-tax impairment charge of $50 million for the same unit in its third-quarter earnings release. Deere began its production of irrigation products seven years ago and says it is now "one of the world's largest full-line drip irrigation manufacturers with global operations and significant distribution in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa."
Deere said that water management and irrigation continue to be an important part of the broader agriculture industry and it is "committed to further enhancing products such as its in-field moisture sensing and climate monitoring system," while also noting it remains committed to developing and offering products and services that will allow its customers to "better manage agronomic activities in the field."
While no definitive decisions or agreements had been made concerning the future irrigation business of John Deere, Bank of America Merrill Lynch will serve as the exclusive advisor for the purposes of the initiative.
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