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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Make That Le Gehl: French Manitou BF Buys Madison's Biggest Employer

Today's RealMadison.org feature: Wisconsin-based skidsteer maker Gehl Co. has signed an acquisition deal with Manitou BF of France. Manitou is buying up Gehl stock and hopes to gain full control of the company by October.

Gehl employs almost 400 workers here in Madison, almost twice the workforce of Dakota State University. How will the acquisition affect those jobs? No explicit mention of layoffs yet, but the numbers from Manitou say that once the deal is completed, Manitou will employ about 3,500. Manitou says it currently employs about 2,800, while Gehl employs about 900. Hmmm... might want to start learning French!

More numbers and links at RealMadison.org!

Update 2008.10.02: Manitou communications officer Damien Cocton replies on the discrepancy in job numbers, seems to say the difference is based on changes already committed since 2007. Read his e-mail for yourself at RealMadison.org.


  1. Won't you get confused with the Russian and Spanish.

    BTW. Je parle Francais.

    Just another Herbert wannabe

  2. Gehl also has a manufacturing plant in Yankton, South Dakota and head quarters in Wisconsin. The 700 employee increase would include those sights also.

    Lets hope for good things for Gehl Co. and Madison.

  3. To keep headquarters in West Bend they were recently given a $5M tif, 2M from their state and pulled all engineers back to WI. They didn't initially commit to completing the headquarters building but now have and also said they won't change operations, but that's what they always say. A law firm is investigating potential breaches of fiduciary duties by their Board on the sale (which may be nothing). SD probably gave them incentives to stay and expand a while back. We'll see if Madison becomes a ghost town. jh

  4. "pulled all engineers back to WI"...
    Hmmm...that's interesting!
    You may want to check your facts JH!

  5. When the engineering staff left last year people nervously wondered if it was part of a transition. Operations may stay, unlike Roscoe, but the point is Madison needs more diversified employment. Some Arctic Cat people accepted much lower paying jobs ($8.00 with incentives paid to employers through LAIC) since there have been no real employment gains. We should expect more.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. The Engineering Dept is now an empty room with a typewriter and a stack of blank checks.


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