Grimme Buys Out Spudnik

Published online: Sep 30, 2003
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Spudnik Equipment Company LLC of Blackfoot, ID, has been sold to Grimme, a potato equipment manufacturing company in Germany by the Carl Hobbs family. A majority of the stock in the nation's largest potato equipment manufacturing company was transferred, with some details of the deal still being worked out.

In making the announcement to the industry September 29, Hendrik Grobler, new chief executive officer, said he hopes to move the company to the next step in engineering and technological advancements.

Grobler, from Livingston, MT, where he owns a ranch, was formerly with the John Deere Company in Coldwater IA. He received his degrees at Stuttgart University in Germany.

Taking over controlling interest, Grimme will work hand-in-hand with the company to not only share technology but also bring the Idaho company up to some very high-tech standards.

A merger of the two companies was made several years ago, with each sharing technology and engineering design. At that time Grimme wanted Spudnik engineering for potato equipment to be marketed in Russia.

On the United States end, Spudnik gained high-tech engineering and streamlined production. A harvester, for example, can be built and out of the factory in 10 days.

Dennis Schumacher, who has been with Spudnik for many years as sales manager, said it was the right time to make the move from hand-piece-building of equipment to state-of-the-art.

Frank Dorenkamp will remain as president. Most of the administrative and manufacturing workers have been retained.

Grobler said he has worked as a truck mechanic with his mechanical engineering degree. He said the company is now working exclusively on computer-assisted drafting and computer-manufacturing technology.

The company's plant located west of Blackfoot, has been expanded to 115,000 square feet and is situated on 60 acres.

The high-tech equipment now being used led to the need of reduced manpower. The company now has 170 employees.