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Gough bought by Sime Darby

Gough bought by Sime Darby

NZ Truck & Driver News

 September 2019   
A near 90-year association between global machinery giant Caterpillar and a prominent Canterbury family is about to end, with the proposed sale of Gough Holdings to Malaysian industrial/automotive conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad. 

In a deal said to be worth $211million, Sime Darby bolsters its status as a giant of New Zealand's new vehicle industry – adding to its widespread car representation, ownership of the Truck Stops service and repair network and distribution rights for Volvo, Mack, Hino and UD trucks. 

Gough Group says that the deal follows a strategic review process by the historic business, commenced in 2018, to consider options for its longterm growth.
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A near 90-year association between global machinery giant Caterpillar and a prominent Canterbury family is about to end, with the proposed sale of Gough Holdings to Malaysian industrial/automotive conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad. 
In a deal said to be worth $211million, Sime Darby bolsters its status as a giant of New Zealand's new vehicle industry – adding to its widespread car representation, ownership of the Truck Stops service and repair network and distribution rights for Volvo, Mack, Hino and UD trucks. 
Gough Group says that the deal follows a strategic review process by the historic business, commenced in 2018, to consider options for its longterm growth.
Gough Group chairman Keith Sutton says the process allowed the board and shareholders to focus 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." 
For several years, two branches of Tracy Gough's family have been embroiled in a legal battle over control of the Group. Prominent members of one faction include property developers and investors, brothers Antony and Tracy, and Tracy's son James – a Christchurch City councillor. 
They have been opposed by Antony and Tracy's cousin, Ben Gough and his sister Gina Satterthwaite. Ben is board deputy chair and executive director of the Group.
Caterpillar is the flagship brand for the Gough Group, which was founded in 1929 by Tracy Gough as Gough, Gough & Hamer and secured a Cat dealership three years later. 
Today the Group's subsidiaries are active in the transport and materials handling sectors across Australasia. As well as Caterpillar, global brands represented include SAF, Palfinger and WABCO for the transport industry, Hyster and UTILEV lift trucks, and Sany concrete handling equipment. 
In NZ, Gough TWL is a leading parts and equipment supplier to the commercial transport aftermarket, while Gough Transpecs is a prominent supplier to commercial trailermakers and truck body builders. In Australia, Gough Transport Solutions plays a similar role to Transpecs and TWL. 
The Gough Group employs close to 1000 people in over 50 locations in the two countries, and last year had revenue of $540million, up 18% on 2017.
Sime Darby Berhad has been on the NZ automotive scene since 1999, when it bought Continental Car Services in Auckland. It now sells car brands including BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi, Ferrari and Nissan.
Its entry into NZ new truck sector came in 2004 with the acquisition of the Truck Investments group, which included in its portfolio Mack, Hino and UD representation, plus the Truck Stops network. In 2009 the distribution rights for Volvo were added.
There's a significant synergy in the acquisition for Sime Darby: It says it's one of the world's oldest and biggest Caterpillar dealers – the exclusive Cat agent for Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and seven mainland Chinese provinces.   
In Australia, it already owns Queensland-based Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering, which also represents the brand in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia and is one of the top five Cat dealerships worldwide.  

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