The deal secures Caterpillar dealership in New Zealand for Industrial business and strengthens Motors’ commercial business in Australia and New Zealand.
Sime Darby Berhad announced today that its subsidiary, Sime Darby (NZ) Holdings Limited has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with privately-owned Gough Holdings Limited to acquire Gough Group Limited.
Gough Group has the Caterpillar dealership with service territory in New Zealand and interests in the transport and materials handling business in New Zealand and Australia.
The New Zealand Caterpillar dealership has a rich history spanning 90 years, making it one of the oldest dealerships of Caterpillar equipment outside of the United States.
Gough Group currently employs approximately 950 people across a network of over 50 locations in Australia and New Zealand.
“The Gough Group transaction, which would be the largest for Sime Darby Berhad since the pure-play restructuring exercise in 2017, provides a rare opportunity for us to enhance our relationship with Caterpillar, and gain exposure to the construction and forestry sectors in New Zealand, further reinforcing Sime Darby Industrial’s footprint in the Asia Pacific region.”
“The Gough Group’s transport and material handling portfolio will complement Sime Darby Motors’ commercial truck business in New Zealand, enable growth in aftersales operations and broaden our suite of franchises, essentially strengthening our position in Australasia,” Sime Darby Berhad’s Group Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson said.
Gough Group grew its revenue by more than 18% in 2018 to NZ$540 million from the previous year, driven by improvements in sales for both its Caterpillar and transport and material handling businesses.
Sime Darby Berhad is excited about investing in the next stage of growth to build on Gough Group’s leadership position in the New Zealand and Australian markets.
In Australia, Sime Darby Berhad is represented by Hastings Deering, one of Caterpillar’s leading dealers, as well as through Sime Darby Motors’ dealerships for BMW, Volvo, Ferrari and Rolls Royce in Brisbane and Porsche in Sydney.
Gough Group Chairman Keith Sutton says: “Through the strategic review process, the Board and shareholders focused on the best interests of the company and its customers, suppliers and employees. We are confident that, under Sime Darby’s ownership, the outlook for the business will be strengthened, service to customers enhanced, and opportunities for our employees improved. Although it is sad to see the end of the almost 100-year legacy of Gough family ownership, all our stakeholders should be excited about the future direction of the business.”
The transaction is conditional upon approval by the Overseas Investment Office and other standard pre-conditions.
Gough Group Chief Executive Officer Liz Ward says: “The new owners have a wealth of industry knowledge and a clear commitment to our people and customers, which was very important to the shareholders and the Board.”
Tracy Gough founded Gough, Gough & Hamer Limited in 1929, securing the Caterpillar dealership in 1932. The Gough Group is one of New Zealand’s oldest privately-owned businesses, and New Zealand and Australia’s leading value-add solutions provider to the infrastructure, mining, forestry, transport and energy industries.
A diverse group, it incorporates 10 distinct businesses, and represents premium global brands such as Caterpillar, WABCO, SAF and Palfinger.
Sime Darby Berhad is partner to some of the world’s best brands in the Industrial and Motors sectors and is one of the largest Caterpillar dealers globally.
Headquartered in Malaysia and listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, it has a workforce of more than 20,000 employees and operations in 18 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific region. The company entered the New Zealand market in 1999 through its acquisition of Continental Car Services Ltd and today has a large range of commercial interests in New Zealand within the transport sector.
The transaction will be fully funded by bank borrowings, on a cash-free and debt-free basis and is subject to New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office approval and the typical completion conditions. The deal is expected to be completed by 30 September 2019.