Gough Holdings lets go of NZ CAT dealership after almost a century

793F mining truck. Image: Gough Cat

Gough Holdings is set to offload its New Zealand’s Caterpillar dealership, Gough Group, to Sime Darby Berhad after nearly 100 years of family ownership.

Gough Group, which has a history spanning 90 years, is one of the oldest Caterpillar dealers outside of the United States.

The company owns a service territory in New Zealand and interests in transport and materials handling business in New Zealand and Australia.

The sale was announced after a year of consideration, when Gough Holdings started identifying options for the group’s long-term growth in 2018.

Sime Darby is one of the largest and “most successful” Caterpillar dealers globally.

The Malaysia-based, listed company has more than 20,000 employees and operations in 18 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific region.

“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,” chief executive Liz Ward said.

Gough Cat executive general manager Chris Heaton added: “Last year, our shareholders asked us to explore the company’s long-term future and ownership.

“Since then, we’ve been carefully working through a range of options. We are now at a point in the process where we can announce that a sale is going ahead to Sime Darby Berhad, subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and standard pre-conditions.

“We would have liked to have shared an update with you sooner, but details about the transaction and buyer were confidential until now.”

The transaction is expected to complete in September.

Heaton added the current way the dealership operates would not change significantly, joining the same stable as one of Caterpillar’s leading dealers Hastings Deering, a representative of Sime Darby in Australia.

In New Zealand, Sime Darby operates under the Continental Cars and City Nissan dealerships in Auckland.

It has a commercial transport arm representing brands such as Volvo, Hino, Mack and UD trucks.

“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 group chief executive Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson said.

Gough Group grew its revenue by over 18 per cent in 2018 to $NZ540 million ($794.5 million) from the previous year, driven by sales improvements for both its Caterpillar and transport and material handling businesses.

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