Toro Co. Buys Arkansas Mower Company for $400M
Arkansas-based Intimidator Group sells a line of riding mowers under the name Spartan Mowers The Toro Co.

Toro Co. Buys Arkansas Mower Company for $400M

Bloomington-based Toro has closed on a deal to buy Arkansas-based Intimidator Group, maker of the Spartan Mowers line of riding lawn mowers.

Bloomington-based outdoor equipment manufacturer The Toro Co. on Friday announced that it has acquired Arkansas-based Intimidator Group for $400 million.

Primarily catering to rural customers in southern states, Intimidator sells a line of riding lawn mowers under the name Spartan Mowers. The company also sells utility terrain vehicles and grills. The deal likely won’t have major ramifications for Toro’s current operations in Minnesota or elsewhere. In an email, a Toro spokesman said that Intimidator’s network of dealers has “limited overlap” with its own distribution channels. “We have a long history of valuing our channel partners and we have no plans to change our distribution strategy,” the spokesman said. “We would, however, expect to expand dealer coverage over time.”

Led by husband-and-wife team Robert and Becky Foster, Intimidator employs 500 people. Toro won’t be bringing any of those employees to Minnesota. Instead, the manufacturer plans to grow Intimidator’s local workforce to “successfully support the integration, to continue serving customers, and to support future growth,” the Toro spokesman said. “We are excited to welcome the Intimidator Group team and will rely on their expertise, skills and knowledge of the business in order to be successful long term.”

Regulators have already signed off on the acquisition, which officially closed Thursday. The deal marks the second biggest in Toro’s history; the company’s biggest acquisition is still its $700 million purchase of Charles Machine Works.

In 2021, privately held Intimidator Group had net sales of around $200 million, according to Toro.

Like Toro, Intimidator targets both professional customers alongside homeowners. Intimidator’s line of mowers are referred to as “zero-turn” mowers, meaning they can execute tight turns with no extra space required. Toro execs believe that the zero-turn motor market, in particular, is a growth area. “The addition of Spartan Mowers to our portfolio strategically positions us to be an even stronger player in the large and rapidly growing zero-turn mower market,” said Richard Olson, Toro’s chairman and CEO, in a news release announcing the acquisition.

In its 2021 fiscal year, Toro reported net income of nearly $410 million, up from $329 million in the prior year. Toro also reported total sales of $3.9 billion in its 2021 fiscal year.