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Minnesota Company Working To Buy Wisconsin Caterpillar Plant

Price Co. Plant That Employs 220 Set To Close At End Of 2016

caterpillar equipment
BKrois (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A Minnesota-based company is trying to take over operation of a Price County heavy equipment factory that Caterpillar has announced it plans to close.

Caterpillar announced it would close 20 plants worldwide, including a forest products operation in the village of Prentice and 220 employees from the region would be let go. Caterpillar announced it will also layoff 10,000 workers by 2018.

But behind the scenes, a company based in Montevideo called RITALKA has been in discussions to take over operations. CEO Kevin Wald said he hopes to keep the plant open.

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“I know we are working very hard to get the next round of documents signed and on the table yet this quarter.” Wald said. “We do have some initial writings on the table as we speak with some signatures on it and we’re just trying to push that forward to the next step.”

Wald said he’s purchased other Caterpillar plants and is hopeful to keep work in Prentice.

“For us, long term, the goal would be to have, where we’re still building forestry equipment for a very long time for Caterpillar would be the hopes but then we’re also bringing in other equipment,” he said.

Caterpillar expects to operate the Prentice plant until the end of this year.