Lakeland Equipment and Z&M Ag and Turf announce merger
Lakeland Equipment and Z&M Ag and Turf, Western New York’s two John Deere dealers, announced Feb. 1 a new partnership with Argonne Capital Group. The two dealer groups will merge their assets into a new company called LandPro Equipment, LLC that is backed by Argonne and existing shareholders of Lakeland and Z&M.
With 12 dealership locations, LandPro Equipment will be the largest John Deere turf and agricultural equipment dealer in the Northeast. The combination of the two companies will mean great things for customers and its over 300 employees. LandPro Equipment will have more effective buying power with John Deere and its many venders. This leverage will allow for a larger inventory of new and used equipment, parts available on hand as well as more competitive pricing for LandPro customers.
The combined company will be headquartered in Falconer and managed by Tracy Buck, president of Z&M Ag and Turf.
“We’ve had the pleasure of working with fantastic customers over the years and look forward to continuing that in the future. We’re now selling to the children and grandchildren of people we sold to 30 years ago. Our success is a product of our hard working employees and the quality of the John Deere product. We are excited about this new partnership and the possibilities it offers our customers and our employees,” said Buck, the newly appointed president of LandPro Equipment.
Z&M Ag and Turf was established in1963 and was purchased by Tracy Buck, a long-time employee, and John Griffith in 1994. Under their leadership, Z&M expanded several times over the next 20 years. In 2001, Z&M purchased Goodridge Farm Supply in Oakfield, NY and Alexander, NY and also welcomed Tom Kelsey as a partner. Today, Buck and Kelsey own six Z&M Ag and Turf locations in Oakfield, Alexander, Springville, Falconer and Clymer in New York and Edinboro, Pa.
Lakeland Equipment was founded in 1983 when Marty Phillippe and Gene Roling purchased the existing John Deere dealership in Wayne County, NY. In 1990, Roling and Phillippe partnered with Bob McNamara and Mike Wilson to open two more dealership locations. Together, the former Deere & Company employees grew the company over the next 26 years and now manage stores in Avon, Brockport, Hall, Macedon, North Chili and Savannah in New York. Phillippe and Wilson are now joined by Andy McNamara and Ryan Payment as managing partners. Bob McNamara retired at the end of 2016.
Argonne Capital is a private investment firm based in Atlanta, Georgia that specializes in partnering with and growing closely-held family businesses. Argonne’s portfolio of companies generates $1.5 billion in annual sales and spans distinctive brands such as IHOP, Applebee’s, On The Border, Krystal and Planet Fitness.
“We are thrilled to be joining the iconic John Deere system and look forward to our partnership with the best-in-class management teams at Lakeland and Z&M,” commented Layton Grisette, principal at Argonne Capital Group. “We believe that the combination of these two great companies, when coupled with the financial support of Argonne Capital, will enable LandPro Equipment to provide unmatched sales and service to its customers.”
“I’m very excited about the merger that will create LandPro Equipment,” said Marty Phillippe, Lakeland Equipment founder. “Like Z&M, Lakeland’s main focus has always been on delivering a positive customer experience. This merger will further enhance that experience. The infusion of capital from Argonne will allow LandPro Equipment to create a dynamic, people-driven organization that will have a positive impact on our customers, employees and investors.”
LandPro Equipment will continue to serve the same commercial, construction, farming and homeowner customers as Lakeland and Z&M have for the past 30 years. As the two dealerships combine, they do so with similar customer service cultures and the desire to provide every customer with a quality experience.
“After nearly 37 years of being a part of this business, I am excited about the sustainability that LandPro Equipment will provide to our employees, customers, and the community,” Kelsey continued. “The success of our business is based on building relationships. We have enjoyed countless relationships with our customers and vendors over the years and proudly call them our friends. Our goal at LandPro Equipment is to continue to support our communities and create meaningful relationships with our customers as we maintain the first-rate customer service experience they’ve come to expect.”
For more information please visit www.LandProEquipment.com.