Machinery

Buy-out set to create mega WA John Deere dealership

Liz Wells, July 13, 2021

AFGRI’s network of John Deere dealerships is set to expand with its purchase of Ag Implements. Photo: AFGRI

WESTERN Australia’s two biggest John Deere dealerships are set to become one with the announcement of AFGRI’s purchase of the Ag Implements business.

On its Facebook page yesterday, AFGRI Equipment Australia said it was pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ag Implements.

Grain Central understands the purchase will leave Harvey Farm Service as the only John Deere dealership in WA not owned by AFGRI.

AFRGI is based in South Africa, and expanded into Australia with its purchase in 2004 of T & H Walton Stores, Jolly and Sons in 2015, Greenline Ag in 2016 and Ratten & Slater in 2017.

AFGRI has branches in: Albany; Boyup Brook; Busselton; Carnamah; Dalwallinu; Esperance; Geraldton; Gnowangerup; Lake Grace; Moora; Narrogin, and Wongan Hills, and has its its head office in Perth.

Ag Implements’ vendor is John Nicoletti, who in 2001 established his first John Deere dealership at Merredin in 2001.

In 2004, the business acquired a Mukinbudin dealership, and in 2008, Cunderdin and Northam were added, followed by Narembeen in 2009.

Ag Implements’ sixth site was acquired at Quairading in 2014, and the company was listed for sale in 2019.

Mr Nicoletti and family were the vendors of the vast WA holding bought by SALIC in 2019, and Mr Nicoletti is currently involved with Ulupna Pastoral Company.

In a statement, AFGRI said the acquisition added another six locations to its operation.

“With the constant improvements in technology, additional experts in different fields are required and growing the business allows us to invest more resources into these areas,” the statement said.

“This expansion will allow us to better cater to the needs of our customers for premium new and used equipment, competitive parts and reliable servicing.

“With all regulatory approvals in place, including the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), our focus is now on due diligence and integration planning with the intention to finalise the transaction on July 16.”

AFGRI said FIRB, with inputs from the ACCC, did not have any objections to the proposed acquisition.

AFGRI operations director Gollie Coetzee said the an important aspect of the acquisition was to make the transition for its new employees and customers as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Mr Coetzee said he anticipates a great relationship moving forward.

“With our mission and values being very similar to Ag Implements, we believe everything will continue to run smoothly and we are looking forward to what the future holds,” he said.

“We will be looking to increase our number of technicians at these new locations and expand our AFGRI Apprentice Academy with a further 35 apprentices next year.

“We will continue working with the local schools to make sure we can keep potential future employees in the rural areas.”

AFGRI commercial director Wessel Oosthuizen said the acquisition would further expand the company’s economies of scale through aspects such as better whole-goods and parts-stocking capabilities.

 

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