Morbark Inc., a leading manufacturer of tree care, sawmill, recycling, forestry and biomass chipping and grinding equipment has acquired Boxer Equipment, a product line of Mertz Manufacturing that makes and globally markets a line of compact utility loaders — also known as mini-skid steer loaders — and attachments. Morbark has obtained all product designs, intellectual property and manufacturing tools, as well as existing parts, completed units and other inventory.

The Boxer acquisition will enable Morbark to continue to solidify the company’s strategy to build equipment that creates opportunities for their customers, dealer networks and employees. This acquisition not only enhances those opportunities in Morbark’s existing tree service and rental markets, but also allows it to expand its market presence and current equipment offerings to a broader range of industries and end users, including landscapers, irrigation and trenching contractors, property owners and general contractors.

“In seeking the optimal buyer for the Boxer product line, we looked for a company that had its own manufacturing capability, as well as shared our desire to see the line continue to develop, grow and realize its full potential,” said Steve Ballinger, president of Mertz. “We know without a doubt that Morbark shares this same vision and will apply the necessary resources to bring it to fruition.”

Manufacturing of the Boxer Equipment line is being moved to Morbark’s 1.1-million-square-foot factory and corporate headquarters in Winn, Mich., where manufacturing will begin in the first quarter of 2013.

“The strong strategic fit between our companies, combined with Morbark’s expanded capabilities in product development, manufacturing and dealer distribution will enable us to efficiently maximize the value and long-term potential of the Boxer product line, allowing it to become one of the market leaders in the compact utility loader category,” said Morbark president Jim Shoemaker Jr.