Malaysia’s Sime Darby buys NZ-based Gough Group for $136m

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Pixabay

Malaysian trading and logistics conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd on Tuesday announced that it is acquiring New Zealand’s Gough Group Ltd for NZ$211 million ($136.2 million).

The deal is Sime Darby’s largest since a pure-play restructuring exercise in 2017. The conglomerate is owned by Malaysia’s state-linked investment firm Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

The deal was conducted through its indirect wholly-owned unit Sime Darby (NZ) Holdings.

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.

Its revenue has grown more than 18 per cent in 2018 to NZ$540 million from the previous year, driven by improvements in sales for both its Caterpillar and transport and material handling business.

“The Gough Group transaction…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,” Sime Darby group CEO Jeffri Salim Davidson said.

The Gough Group’s transport and material handling portfolio will also complement Sime Darby Motors’ commercial truck business in New Zealand, he added.

In Australia, Sime Darby 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.

In New Zealand, Sime Darby Motors operates under the Continental Cars and City Nissan dealerships in Auckland, representing brands such as BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi, Ferrari and Nissan. Sime Darby’s automotive arm also has a commercial transport arm representing brands such as Volvo, Hino, Mack and UD Trucks.

The deal 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. It is expected to be completed by September 30, 2019.