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Shaun Semple, president and CEO at Brandt Group of Companies, left, presents a company jacket to Hans Rasmussen on Friday as Rasmussen becomes the first Brandt hire at the plant in rural Hudson. Rasmussen has overseen the plant as president of Kongskilde Industries North American division, and he will transition to Brandt when Brandt completes its purchase of the facility.

NORMAL — Kongskilde Industries still will operate in McLean County after selling its rural Hudson plant to Brandt Group of Companies this month.

Kongskilde, a Denmark-based company that's operated a U.S. division out of McLean County since 2003, will move to 1802 Industrial Park Drive in Normal as of Dec. 15, said Central Region Sales Manager Travis Thornton.

That's the same day Brandt will close on the 200,000-square-foot Kongskilde factory and that Hans Rasmussen, now president of Kongskilde Industries North America, will leave to take a position with Brandt.

“We want to make sure our customers and other businesses in McLean County know Kongskilde is still around, growing and servicing all our clients with this transition," said Thornton, who will become interim president. "Our goal is continue to grow here."

While Kongskilde will no longer manufacture agricultural machinery in the United States, it will still provide services for the plastic, paper and packaging industries.

The company has 18 local employees in its industrial and grain divisions after selling its grass and soil equipment divisions Feb. 1, said Thornton.

The plant had 62 employees a year ago and opened a $10 million expansion there in 2015. Rasmussen told The Pantagraph last fall, “The agricultural economy hasn’t been the best recently."

The remaining employees will sell components made overseas, assemble products and offer training out of 24,000 square feet of warehouse space and 4,000 square feet of office space at the new location, said Thornton. That includes a 50-by-50-foot space specifically for training and testing.

“Our goal is to continue to grow. We’re potentially on the verge of one of our best years ever,” Thornton said of Kongskilde as a whole. “I’m very fortunate I’ll be able to come in and take over. It’s a great staff to work with and for.”

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Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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Normal and McLean County Reporter

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