Caterpillar said Wednesday that it plans to sell Salem, Va.-based Carter Machinery as part of a management buyout. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Once the acquisition is complete, which likely will happen this month, a team of three managers will own Carter: Jim Parker, Carter’s new CEO and principal owner; John Batzel, president; and Dan Strelka, chief financial officer, according to Janis Humphries, who is manager of human resources at Carter.
Caterpillar, the Peoria-based manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, diesel-electric locomotives and industrial gas turbines, bought Carter in 1988. Carter, which was founded in the Roanoke Valley in 1951 by the Beirne Carter family, had been the only Caterpillar dealership in the United States that was not independently owned, according to a Caterpillar news release. Caterpillar has about 180 dealers worldwide.
The decision to divest Carter is part of Caterpillar’s corporate strategy, according to a company news release.
“We were the only dealer that was different,” Humphries said.
Carter will continue to sell and service Caterpillar products as a dealer, and the ownership change will not affect its operations or its number of employees, she said.
Parker, a retired vice president for Caterpillar, will relocate to the Roanoke Valley, Humphries said. Batzel and Strelka work for Carter.
Carter employs nearly 1,200 people at 23 facilities in Virginia and southern West Virginia. It has 340 employees at three locations in the Roanoke Valley, which include its corporate headquarters and a power systems division in Salem. Carter also has a Roanoke location on Peters Creek Road.