Deere looking at options for irrigation unit

Deere looking at options for John Deere Water irrigation unit acquired in 2006

Associated Press

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Agriculture equipment maker Deere & Co. said on Tuesday that it is looking at options for its irrigation unit.

The company said it has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise it on "strategic options" for the unit, which typically signals the possibility of a sale or spinoff. Deere said no formal decisions have been made and no agreements have been reached for its John Deere Water unit.

The company said it "remains committed to further enhancing products" such as in-field moisture sensing and weather monitoring system known as John Deere Field Connect.

Deere got into the irrigation business with its 2006 acquisition of California-based Robert Irrigation Products for an undisclosed amount. It said the unit now known as John Deere Water is one of the world's largest makers of drip irrigation gear with global operations.

Shares of Moline, Ill.-based Deere rose 10 cents to $83.74 in afternoon trading.

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