The Toro Company Announces Toro Financing for Equipment and Irrigation Acquisitions

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Feb 25, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) announced today the formation of Toro Financing to offer financial solutions for golf courses, municipalities and sports fields to acquire irrigation systems and maintenance equipment.

"Financial solutions are an increasingly important component of acquiring turf maintenance equipment and irrigation systems," said Tim Ford, Vice President/General Manager of The Toro Company. "Toro Financing is designed to offer financial solutions with the quality and service you expect from the Toro brand."

Offered in partnership with GE Capital Vendor Financial Services, a global provider of financing solutions to manufacturers, dealers and end-users, Toro Financing provides flexible financial solutions, leases and conditional sales contracts. These solutions give organizations the opportunity to acquire the equipment they need in a single step.

"We're excited to be bringing financial solutions to a new marketplace and are committed to providing flexible options to organizations managing landscapes with Toro equipment and irrigation systems," said Jim Kelly, Senior Vice President/General Manager of GE Capital Vendor Financial Services. "We're bringing our superior customer service, vast resources and financial expertise to Toro Financing to help Toro better serve their customers."

"We're pleased to be able to extend these financial offerings to irrigation systems," said Bill Hughes, Vice President/General Manager at Toro. "A golf course can renovate its irrigation system and get equipment to complement their fleet in one transaction from one manufacturer. That's unprecedented."

Initially, Toro Financing will be available to golf courses, municipalities, schools, universities, sports organizations and others who purchase commercial turf maintenance equipment and irrigation systems in the United States. As the program grows, Vendor Financial Services has the resources and locations to help extend these services to customer groups across the globe.

The Toro Company, with $1.35 billion in sales annually, is a leading provider of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation, and commercial landscapes around the world. Together with its distributors, Toro provides innovative products, agronomic expertise and exemplary service that helps golf course superintendents and professional turf managers maintain their landscapes. Visit the company at

GE Capital Vendor Financial Services is a global leader in developing and providing financial solutions and services to equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers and their end users. With nearly $20 billion in served assets worldwide, Vendor Financial Services helps its customers drive new business and strengthen their existing business by providing superior service, a commitment to quality and the application of the latest e-commerce technology. Vendor Financial Services serves approximately 100 manufacturers, 4,500 dealers and currently has over 500,000 accounts in 33 countries.

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SOURCE The Toro Company

CONTACT:          Shelley Benedict, +1-952-887-8930, ,
                  or Jody Hinkle, +1-952-887-7389, both of The Toro Company, or Charles Whitt of
                  GE Capital, +1-660-269-1253
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Our Company

At The Toro Company, we take great pride in helping our customers enrich the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. Founded in 1914, The Toro Company was built on a tradition of quality and caring relationships. Today, the company is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf maintenance, snow and ice management, landscape, rental and specialty construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. Through a strong network of professional distributors, dealers and retailers in more than 125 countries, we proudly offer a wide range of products across a family of global brands to help golf courses, professional contractors, groundskeepers, agricultural growers, rental companies, government and educational institutions, and homeowners – in addition to many leading sports venues and historic sites around the world.