EAST RANDOLPH — L.W. Greenwood & Sons’ 85-year-old motto, “Sold but not forgotten,” may soon apply to the family-owned farm equipment business based on the company’s looming sale to Champlain Valley Equipment Inc.
This one should come together quickly, according to Leon “Butch” Greenwood Jr., who on Tuesday confirmed what some patrons of the Route 14 business have been told in recent days.
“We’re selling out to them (Champlain Valley Equipment) hopefully by Labor Day weekend,” Greenwood said of the second-generation company that was founded as a slaughterhouse and door-to-door meat business by his father, Leon Greenwood Sr., in 1929.
Over the years the company, which has been run by Greenwood’s brother, Ron, since 1971, morphed into a sales, service and parts business for a wide range of farm equipment and has since expanded to include everything from tractor-based construction equipment to snow machines.
Butch Greenwood, who has been working with his brother for nearly 35 years, said Tuesday that what to do with the family business has been a long-running topic of conversation between the two that finally appears to have been resolved.
“We made the decision we were going to do something a couple years ago, but we just hadn’t done anything and they (Champlain Valley Equipment) approached us,” Butch Greenwood said, before deciding that he’d said too much.
According to Butch Greenwood, a press release with “all the facts and figures” would be coming “very, very soon” and he didn’t want to get out ahead of it.
“I probably hadn’t better say any more at this point,” he said. “We’ll wait until we officially say things.”
Staff at the business, which has become a fixture on Route 14 in East Randolph, have been unofficially saying things — telling customers, like Washington resident George Matheson, that the company will soon be sold to Champlain Valley Equipment and that its inventory of used equipment will be sold at auction.
Matheson was picking up parts for a 1977 Ford farm tractor that he’s been “tinkering with” at the time and said he was sad to hear the news.
“They’re great fellows,” he said, noting farmers from central Vermont and beyond had come to rely on the business and on Ron and Butch Greenwood.
“You always got a good deal and they were always helpful,” he said.
A representative for Champlain Valley Equipment referred questions about the acquisition of L.W. Greenwood & Sons to General Manager Brian Carpenter. Carpenter was out of the office on Tuesday and did not return a voicemail message.
Assuming the sale that Butch Greenwood described as “90 percent there” on Tuesday goes through as expected, Champlain Valley Equipment would acquire a fifth Vermont location. The company, which currently has stores in Middlebury, Berlin, St. Albans and Derby, would pick up a store in East Randolph.
Founded in 1970, Champlain Valley Equipment caters to the same market as L.W. Greenwood & Sons and carries many of the same brands of equipment, including New Holland, Polaris, Kuhn and Woods.
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