Toro Co., a major supplier of irrigation systems for golf courses, will pay about $130 million for California-based James Hardie Irrigation Group, part of Aus-tralia's James Hardie Industries Ltd. Toro, a public company based in Bloomington, Minn., currently buys its PVC tubing and valve fittings from outside suppliers, according to Robert Fey, director of technology for irrigation. Toro makes its own pop-up sprinkler heads, using some ABS parts.
James Hardie Irrigation does its own extrusion of PVC tubing, including garden hose and drip-irrigation tubing, he said. The company also is a leading supplier of electronic controllers and valves for irrigation, Toro said.
Kendrick Melrose, Toro's chairman and chief executive officer, said JHI's strengths complement those of Toro.
Toro's irrigation division, based in Riverside, Calif., already serves a global golf course market. In the United States, Toro said its products are used at 75 of the top 100 courses as ranked by Golf Digest magazine.
JHI, based in Laguna Niguel, Calif., has facilities in Texas, California, Florida and Australia. About 1,100 people work for the company. Specific information on JHI's injection molding and extrusion machinery was not available.
Toro announced the acquisition on Sept. 19. Toro had sales of $919.4 million for its 1995 fiscal year, ending Oct. 31, 1995.
For the first nine months of the 1996 fiscal year, ended Aug. 2, Toro reported sales of $732.7 million. Those sales were from three units: consumer products ($342.7 million) and commercial products ($271.7 million), in which Toro supplies a variety of power equipment for lawns; and irrigation products.
Through the first nine months, sales of irrigation products increased 8.3 percent, to $118.3 million, from $109.2 million in the first nine months of 1995. Toro officials credited the gain to increased business to do-it-yourself retailers and golf courses.