Spartan Motors, Inc., Charlotte, Mich., announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Spartan Motors USA, Inc., entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Smeal Fire Apparatus Co., an innovator and manufacturer of fire apparatus based in Snyder, Neb., and its subsidiaries for $36.3 million. The acquisition will enable Spartan Motors to strengthen its emergency response business, gain scale and geographic reach in the industry and accelerate its emergency response business unit turnaround plan. The transaction is expected to close in January 2017.

Today, Spartan's emergency response business unit engineers and builds fire truck cabs and chassis for many of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Smeal, as well as designs and manufactures complete fire apparatus.

"We look forward to adding Smeal's industry-leading product portfolio and manufacturing expertise to Spartan's, while expanding on a decades-long successful partnership," says Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors. "We expect the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2017 and bring significant scale to our emergency response vehicle portfolio, which will help accelerate the turnaround of the Spartan emergency response business unit. It also expands the geographic reach of our dealers, benefits all of our customers by expanding our product offerings and brings an additional portfolio of leading technology and expertise to the market."

"We are pleased that Smeal chose Spartan Motors as their partner to carry on their brand's legacy, as we take our supplier relationship to the next level,” adds Adams. “Spartan Motors is prepared to lead the consolidation charge in the fire apparatus market as strategic opportunities present themselves, and this acquisition represents a deliberate and strategic decision to accelerate the turnaround of Spartan's emergency response business unit. Importantly, we also preserve a large, long-standing chassis customer relationship and protect the interests of their dealer channel, as we expand our dealer network across the U.S. and Canada and simultaneously accelerate our goal of becoming the leader in the fire apparatus market."

Founded in 1955, Smeal and its subsidiaries, U.S. Tanker Co. and Ladder Tower Co., are leaders and innovators in fire truck manufacturing and vehicle technology, offering a full line of aerial ladders and platforms (including Squrt, TeleSqurt and Snorkel), tractor-drawn aerials (TDAs), pumpers, stainless-steel tankers and wildland urban interface vehicles (WUI). Today, Smeal operates facilities located in Snyder and Neligh, Neb.; Delavan, Wis.; and Ephrata, Pa.

"Spartan Motors is the perfect fit for Smeal, our customers, our employees and our operational leadership team, as we combine with a proven ally and industry leader to help solidify our future and preserve the legacy of the Smeal organization," says Rod Cerny, Smeal's chairman of the board. "As part of a larger, profitable and well-capitalized public company, we will have the working capital necessary to ensure continued investment in product development and make sure the Smeal brand is able to deliver the exceptional products and service our dealers, departments and municipality customers have come to expect."