Milwaukee-based Joy Global has announced plans to acquire the storied LeTourneau Technologies of Longview from Houston based Rowan Companies for $1.1 billion in cash.

Joy Global manufactures original equipment and aftermarket parts and services for underground and above-ground mining of coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, gold and other minerals.

LeTourneau will be a perfect fit for Joy Global, because it  manufactures heavy equipment and tools for the mining, oil and gas and forest products industries. LeTourneau’s offshore jack-up oil and gas rigs are the largest in the world.

LeTourneau has about 2,700 employees.  1100 in Longview, another 500 in Houston and 450 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

LeTourneau Technologies was founded by the legendary self-taught engineer R.G. LeTourneau, whose innovations and inventions revolutionized the manufacture of heavy earth moving equipment.  At his death in 1969 he held more than 300 patents.

During WWII, 70 percent of all the earth moving equipment used by the Allied forces was made by LeTourneau companies.

via Joy Global buying LeTourneau Tech in $1.1 billion deal - Longview News-Journal: Local News.

LeTourneau founder Robert Gilmore LeTourneau (1888 – 1969) was known around the world as a devout Christian and a generous philanthropist to Christian causes. He ran his businesses according to Christian principles, and he was often referred to as “God’s Businessman.”

Even though he dropped out of school at an early age, and never earned a high school diploma or a college degree, in the 1940s he founded a private Christian college that became LeTourneau University in Longview.