Under the agreement, AGCO will continue to provide Case IH-branded hay tool products to the Case IH distribution network until March 31, 2001. In addition, the companies have agreed to a long-term arrangement for the supply of parts for Case IH products produced at the HFI plant. CNH is currently developing a separate Case IH line of hay and forage products.

Full terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The closing of the transaction is expected within 30 days.

CNH is successfully working toward complying with all regulatory divestiture requirements in North America and Europe. The company recently reached an agreement with the A.R.G.O. Group in Italy for the sale of the New Holland facility in Breganze, Italy. The agreement is pending approval of the European Commission.

In February, CNH completed the divestiture of the Austrian commercial distribution rights of two of its compact tractor models to Lindner Traktorenwerk GesmbH, an Austrian agricultural machinery maker. CNH will continue to produce the Steyr model M-948 and M-958 and Case IH models CS 48/58 tractors at its Case Steyr plant in St. Valentin, Austria. Under terms of the divestiture agreement, the St. Valentin plant will supply these tractors to Lindner, who has agreed to sell these tractors to the Austrian Case IH and Steyr dealer networks under their respective brands. Lindner will also sell the tractors under its own brand through its own dealers. The agreement was approved by the European Commission and has already been implemented.

"While addressing the requirements imposed by the regulatory agencies, we have structured these agreements in a manner that enables our dealers and customers to continue to have access to these products. In support of our multiple-brand, multiple-distribution strategy, we are working on common platform designs of our major equipment lines to meet the long-term needs of our customers with new, propietary products that will further enhance their productivity and success," said Jean-Pierre Rosso, CNH chairman and chief executive officer. "We have had strong interest in all of the products and operations that we agreed to divest and our activities are proceeding as planned."

With strong global brands, CNH is a leader in the agricultural equipment, construction equipment and financial services industries and had combined 1999 revenues of approximately $11 billion. CNH is the number one manufacturer of agricultural tractors and combines in the world, the third largest maker of construction equipment and has one of the largest equipment finance companies in the world. Based in the United States, CNH has operations in 16 countries and sells its products in 160 markets through a network of more than 10,000 dealers and distributors. CNH equipment is sold under the following brands: Case, Case IH, Fermec, Fiatallis, Fiat-Hitachi, Link-Belt (earth moving equipment), New Holland, O&K and Steyr. CNH offers a range of financial services under the Case Credit, New Holland Credit, CNH Capital and Soris brands.