Trimble announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the privately held German-based Müller-Elektronik, which specializes in implement control and precision farming products.

Muller is known for developing, producing and selling Electric Control Units and software that helps vehicle and implement control for tractors, combines, sprayers and other types of farm equipment, according to Trimble senior vice president Darryl Matthews. Müller was also a key contributor in developing the ISOBUS communication protocol – linking one terminal to control different implements and machines, regardless of manufacturer.

The collective strengths of Trimble and Müller could lead to additional agtech innovations not otherwise possible, Matthews says.

“Our planned acquisition of Müller-Elektronik recognizes the growing importance of the implement in variable-rate application solutions, as well as the importance of an integrated platform that is agnostic to equipment brand,” he says. “Müller’s ISOBUS solutions are already compatible with a significant range of equipment manufacturers. This capability, together with existing Trimble competencies, will enable us to expand our role in the growing market for variable rate applications.”

Christian Müller, managing director for Müller-Elektronik, says the acquisition will help Trimble deliver a “uniquely available” system-wide integration of agtech to its customers.

“Our systems, combined with farm management software, will enable OEMs to provide integrated plug-and-play solutions straight from the factory, while also helping the growing aftermarket channel looking to support its customers [who have] mixed-fleet operations with an ISOBUS solution.”

The transaction is customary closing conditions and is expected to finalize Q3 of 2017; financial terms were not disclosed.