Breaking News: Oct. 2000, Husqvarna Acquires Bluebird International

Husqvarna Acquires Bluebird International

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Further nearing its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for the professional lawn maintenance contractor, Husqvarna has added more new products to its commercial line with the acquisition of Bluebird International, Denver, Colo. The acquisition is Husqvarna’s second major acquisition in the turf care industry in the past year following its purchase last October of Yazoo Power Equipment’s (Yazoo/Kees) commercial turf assets.

Husqvarna, a manufacturer of a variety of hand-held products and mowers for commercial users, will continue to market the Bluebird International brand through existing Bluebird dealers and its distributor network, and also will add the newly acquired products to its dealerships under the Husqvarna brand and signature orange color. The new product offerings will include commercial dethatchers, aerators, sod cutters, seeders, collection systems and other equipment.

This acquisition, according to Husqvarna President Dave Zerfoss, is a reflection of the changing turf care industry as more contractors use less pesticides and focus on other methods of developing lush lawns. "Most lawn maintenance companies are offering very extensive services, including plugging and dethatching," he said. "These products are coming to the forefront as viable services to be offered by commercial users so they can present more of a year-round offering."

Several years ago, Zerfoss alluded to Lawn & Landscape that Husqvarna was developing strategies to become a premier player in the lawn and landscape maintenance industry. He said it took a few years for that strategy to unfold, but through the Yazoo/Kees and Bluebird acquisitions, as well as future plans he would not elaborate on, Husqvarna should become "a recognized premium leader in commercial lawn care equipment," Zerfoss said.

"We are absolutely dedicated over the next several years to be the leader in commercial application equipment for the lawn maintenance industry," he continued. "That’s been very carefully calculated as we made the purchase of Yazoo/Kees last October, Bluebird International now and other product areas to be announced over the next few months. There will be continued acquisitions to really place us in the absolute premier position of offering lawn care equipment."

Bluebird International, which generated 1999 annual sales of $18 million, currently employs 75 people who will now become employees of Husqvarna Turf Care.

October 2000
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