What the sale of Raven Industries could mean for Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Raven Industries has been a pillar of the Sioux Falls business community for 65 years; now the technology company is being acquired by CNH Industrial, a precision agriculture technology company. 

From hot air balloons to balloon characters in the Macy’s Day Parade, Since 1956, Raven industries has had an unmistakable presence in the Sioux Falls community.

Their work with balloons has put the company and the city in the national spotlight for decades. But Raven Industries goes far beyond balloons, with departments in Aerostar, Engineered Films and Applied Technology.

Raven’s work in ag technology prompted the $2.1 billion deal with CNH Industrial, a leader in precision agriculture.  

“Anytime a company is acquired you’re always a little bit nervous, what does that mean? Does that mean that jobs are going to go away, does that mean that the company is going to go away?” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

But Mayor TenHaken is confident this acquisition is good news for Raven and the community.

“I think this has the potential to be a real good thing for Sioux Falls and will bring even more jobs, more white collar,  high paying jobs to our community than even exist right now,” TenHaken said. “Raven has diversified our economy in terms of the types of jobs that they’ve brought. We have a lot of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, a lot of high end jobs that Raven has brought to the community as their ag tech platform has evolved.”

Raven currently employees 900 people nationwide, with its headquarters remaining in downtown Sioux Falls since 1961.

“We need to stay downtown, we believe in this part of the city, it’s important for us to attract employees and we think its important for us to stay downtown,” Raven Industries CEO Dan Rykhus said in a 2011 interview with KELOLAND news.

In 2014, Raven completed a total renovation of its main offices on 6th street in Sioux Falls.

“They’ve made incredible investments in our downtown, not only with their facilities and things like the amphitheater they put in and other things, they’ve been a great corporate partner in downtown,” TenHaken said.

A 65 year partnership of community investment and engagement that TenHaken hopes will continue under its new ownership.

“I’m really hopeful that brand, that culture that they’ve developed will continue in Sioux Falls now that they’re part of the CNH family of companies,” TenHaken said.

The closing of the Raven Industries sale is expected in the 4th quarter this year. The CEOs of both companies shared their commitment to Sioux Falls in a news release earlier this week.

“We look forward to CNH Industrial leveraging the Raven talent and culture, as well as the Sioux Falls community, as part of their vision and future success,” Raven CEO Dan Rykhus said.

“Raven Industries’ capabilities, innovation culture, entrepreneurial spirit and engineering talent are impressive and will continue to thrive as part of the CNH Industrial family. Sioux Falls is and will continue to be a true center of excellence,” CNH CEO Scott Wine said.

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