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Claeys was founded in 1906 by Leon Claeys, a Belgian mechanic. This firm started to build threshing machines, and in 1909, built a factory in Zedelgem, Belgium, where one of New Holland's plants is still producing harvesting products today. By the 1960s, Claeys was one of the biggest combine manufacturers in Europe.

In 1964 the majority of Claeys was acquired by Sperry New Holland. In 1967 the company changed its name to Clayson, and in 1986 it merged with Ford. In 1991 Ford was acquired by Fiatagri and became New Holland.