Sime Darby buys Caterpillar dealer for half-a-billion ringgit in NZ deal

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd has acquired New Zealand’s Gough Holdings Ltd, which distributes the Caterpillar machines, for NZ$211 million (RM572 million).

The deal was entered into by its indirect unit, Sime Darby (NZ) Holdings Ltd, and is the largest for Sime Darby since the pure-play restructuring exercise in 2017.

Gough Group has the Caterpillar dealership with service territory in the country and interests in the transport business in New Zealand and Australia.

“It 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,” said Sime Darby’s group CEO Jeffri Salim Davidson.

Sime Darby said the Gough Group’s transport and material handling portfolio will complement Sime Darby Motors’ commercial truck business in New Zealand.

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 noted that the transaction would 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 Sept 30, 2019.

At 1.48pm, Sime Darby shares fell 3 sen to RM2.16 with 944,100 shares transacted.