ASV, the Grand Rapids, Minn., maker of compact track and skid steer loaders, may be returning to the ranks of Minnesota-based public companies.
ASV LLC filed an initial registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could raise $36 million. If it completes the offering, the 153-employee company will emerge from years of being a subsidiary of much-larger corporate owners.
ASV Inc. was founded in 1983 in Marcell, Minn., and moved its headquarters to Grand Rapids in 1995. The company developed Posi-Track, an innovative rubber-tracked undercarriage system that reduced the ground force impact of traditional steel tracked loaders and wheeled skid steer loaders.
ASV Inc. was a publicly traded company from 1984 until 2008, when it was acquired by Westport, Conn.-based Terex Corp. for $488 million. Terex Corp., a manufacturer of cranes and material handling equipment, had revenue of $8 billion when it purchased ASV. By 2016, its revenue had dropped to $4.4 billion
Prospects for Terex's wholly owned subsidiary ASV suffered a similar slide. At the time of the 2008 acquisition, ASV had annual revenue of $246 million and net income of $22 million. According to the SEC filing, the company in 2016 lost about $1 million on revenue of $104 million. The revenue was down 11.2 percent from 2015.
In 2014, after forming a joint venture with Terex, Bridgeview, Ill.-based Manitex Corp. acquired a 51 percent stake in ASV. In turn, ASV became a Manitex subsidiary.
Lawrence De Maria, an analyst for William Blair & Co., said Terex has been in divestiture mode for awhile.
"They've been focusing on certain core businesses, including cranes and its aerial lift business," De Maria said.
In the SEC filing, ASV laid out some of the accomplishments its made under the Manitex joint venture, including a relaunch of the ASV brand, a new logo, an increased product range of compact track and skid steer loaders and an improved sales and distribution network. As part of the offering, ASV LLC would convert its name to ASV Holdings Inc. Its headquarters would remain in Grand Rapids, according to the filing made last week. The initial filing does not disclose how many shares will be offered, the percentage of shares to be offered or an offering price.
About 40 percent of the offering proceeds would be used to pay off debt and the rest for general corporate purposes.
If the company does complete its IPO, it would be the first IPO of a Minnesota company since Tactile Systems Technology raised $40 million on July 27, 2016.
Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926