Malaysia’s Sime Darby has acquired Hyster’s New Zealand dealer the Gough Group.
Sime Darby, which is listed in Kuala Lumpur, has announced it will acquire the Gough Group through a New Zealand subsidiary company Sime Darby (NZ) Holdings Ltd for NZ$211M.
The Gough Group is a privately held company that holds the lucrative caterpillar dealership for New Zealand. It has several subsidiaries across the construction, infrastructure, transport and power system industries, distributing brands including SAF, Palfinger and WABCO in New Zealand and Australia. The Hyster dealership covers New Zealand and is managed by Gough Materials Handling.
In recent years Hyster and Gough have built market share in New Zealand, with several machines in Westgate (Port Taranaki), Wellington, the rail interchange at Ports of Auckland and with NZ’s rail operator KiwiRail. Last year KiwiRail ordered 14 Hyster big trucks, including forklifts reachstackers and top loaders. KiwiRail subsequently ordered another five 40t forklifts with a five-year asset management contract.
Sime Darby already has a presence in New Zealand, where Sime Darby Commercial (NZ) Ltd represents several major truck brands. “The Gough Group’s transport and material handling portfolio will complement Sime Darby Motors’ commercial truck business in New Zealand, enable growth in after sales 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.
Sime Darby also manufactures Terberg terminal tractors under license, through its subsidiary Tractors Malaysia, but the market for these machines in New Zealand is very small. The majority of the value of the Gough Group for Sime Darby is its Caterpillar dealership, which spans mining, road and civil construction and the forest product industries. The Gough Group has a 90+ year history with Caterpillar, and is the second oldest Caterpillar dealer in the world outside of the United States.
“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,” Davidson said.
The sale is still subject to approval by the Overseas Investment Office and other standard pre-conditions. “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,” said Gough Group Chief Executive Officer Liz Ward.