Astec Buys Wood Pellet Machine Maker

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Astec Industries Inc., a maker of asphalt paving and other equipment for public works, said Wednesday it has acquired a Canadian wood pellet machine manufacturing company.

Terms of the deal with Industrial Mechanical & Integration in Walkerton, Ontario, were not disclosed.

IMI has been testing the technology for two years and is now making the first group of production machines, the Chattanooga-based Astec said.

With the acquisition, Astec can provide a "one-stop solution" to customers seeking to own a pellet plant that can process material from round wood to the finished product, Astec said. The company said wood pellets will be a key part of renewable energy standards being adopted in the United States and elsewhere.

Rick Minke, president of IMI and key employees will remain with the company to further develop and promote the technology, Astec said.

Astec's shares added 9 cents, to $25.84 in afternoon trading.

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