Blake Quinn, president and CEO of Fresno, Calif.-based Quinn Group Inc., and Bill Shepherd III, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Shepherd Machinery, have announced the signing of a binding agreement to combine their businesses.

The shareholders of the organizations have approved the merger, as has Caterpillar Inc. Company officials expect the deal to be finalized August 1.

Both companies are long-time Caterpillar dealers. Quinn has been a Caterpillar dealer in Central California since 1919 and Shepherd has done business in Los Angeles and surrounding counties since 1924.

Both companies have strong rental programs. Shepherd Rentals is No. 66 on the RER 100, while Quinn Rental Services is believed to be even larger.

Quinn Group has agreed to buy substantially all of the operating assets of the Shepherd Dealership Companies and establish three new companies, Quinn Shepherd Machinery, Quinn Shepherd Rental Services, and Quinn Power Systems Associates. The Quinn Group, which consists of Quinn Co., Quinn Engine Systems, Quinn Rental Services and Alta Lift, will continue to serve as Caterpillar dealer in their existing Central California territory. Blake Quinn will be chairman, president and CEO of the combined organizations, while Bill Shepherd will serve as vice-chairman.

“The combination of the two businesses provides the size and critical mass necessary to achieve improved performance and opportunities for employees, customers and Caterpillar,”said a company official.

Headquarters of the combined companies will be Los Angeles once the transaction is successfully completed.