Baird Capital sells Digi-Star

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Milwaukee-based Baird Capital’s U.S. Private Equity group has sold portfolio company Digi-Star to Topcon Positioning Group.

Fort Atkinson-based Digi-Star is a leading international agricultural measurement solutions provider. It distributes electronic equipment, precision sensors, optical yield and feed management sensors, displays, position verification and software that farmers and other equipment operators use in gathering and analyzing process data.

“Topcon and Digi-Star have numerous synergies with electronics, sensors, and integration of specific user interfaces for the agriculture and industrial markets that will complement each other’s customers,” said Mac Moore, president and chief executive officer of Digi-Star. “Both companies will benefit from the expanded product lines and solutions that progressive customers depend upon for maximum profitability.”

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Livermore, Calif.-based Topcon makes precise positioning products and solutions for the agriculture industry. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It designs, manufactures and distributes products used in global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, BIM, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control. It has more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

“After several years of working on development projects together, we are delighted with this acquisition,” said Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Group. “Digi-Star and Topcon Precision Agriculture are a perfect fit, bringing complementary technologies and distribution channels to our rapidly growing precision agricultural division. At a time when many companies are decreasing their investment in agricultural markets, we are increasingly optimistic about their growth based upon our strong commitment to developing management systems and solutions that bring the power of the Internet of Things to every farm.”

Digi-Star has more than 220 employees at its three global locations. It will continue to be based in Fort Atkinson, and its employees and facilities will be folded into Topcon.

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“When we initially invested in Digi-Star in 2011, our goal was to take an already strong platform business in the agricultural products and process controls industry and continue to develop its capabilities,” said Andrew Brickman, partner with Baird Capital’s Private Equity group. “Over the last few years, we have worked with Digi-Star’s leadership to expand the company’s global footprint and service offerings through targeted acquisitions and operational improvements.”

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