Wisconsin company buys Country Home Products

Wisconsin company buys Country Home Products

Publicly traded Wisconsin company, Generac Holdings, Inc., has purchased Country Home Products of Vergennes and its subsidiaries, including DR Power Equipment and Neuton electric lawn mowers.

The deal closed on Aug. 1.

Generac designs and manufactures a wide range of generators as well as other products such as light towers, pumps and power washers for both the residential and commercial markets. The company has a market value of $2.1 billion.

Joe Perotto, president of Country Home Products, said in a statement the sale was a "very exciting transaction" for the Vergennes company.

"It will open up even larger markets for sales of DR, Neuton and Generac products both in the United States and globally, and will also create meaningful opportunities to improve our product costs and ultimately the value we bring to our customers," Perotto said.

Generac said in a statement that the Country Home Products' management team will continue to lead the business going forward, and that the DR and Neuton brand names will join the Generac's family of brands. Country Home Products employs more than 200 people in Vermont at its headquarters in Vergennes, a manufacturing facility in Winooski and call center in Charlotte.

In 2009, Perotto used the federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to raise $12 million for the company, qualifying for the program through the "troubled business" provision. The 2008 recession hit the company hard.

The EB-5 program provides conditional green cards to foreign nationals who invest $500,000 or $1 million in businesses or developments in the United States. If those investments result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs, the investors receive their permanent green cards.

In the case of Country Home Products and the troubled business provision, Perotto didn't have to create 10 new jobs for each of the 24 foreign investors in the company, he had only to preserve the 130 jobs Country Home Products provided at the time.

The $12 million Perotto raised from Chinese investors was used to pay for product development and market expansion.



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