Big Queensland John Deere farm machinery group Vanderfield is growing even bigger with the purchase of 11 dealerships in the Chesterfield Australia network.
When the deal is finalised Vanderfield's parent company RDO Australia Group will own a franchise network employing more than 700 staff across 29 branches in Queensland and NSW.
Two of Chesterfield's NSW dealerships in Warren and Dubbo will be acquired by the Wagga Wagga-based Hutcheon and Pearce dealership group, which will grow to 13 branches.
Chief executive officer Arron Hutcheon said the similar agricultural commodity bases and existing expertise in both his family business and the Chesterfield branches in Central West NSW made the decision to expand further north a good choice.
RDO Australia CEO Julie Whitcombe said Vanderfield's absorption of most Chesterfield branches in NSW and Queensland would see the new owners continue to serve local customers and support the continuing growth of the agricultural industry in new ways.
"Chesterfield Australia was looking for the right buyer and RDO Australia Group was looking for the right opportunity to strengthen our support base in regional areas for both our agricultural and construction businesses," she said.
'Makes perfect sense'
"The opportunity to build in these areas from an established John Deere dealership that shared similar values to our own made perfect sense for us."
Chesterfield CEO Damien Effeney agreed the two businesses were "an ideal fit".
Merging the Chesterfield business with Vanderfield would establish one of the leading agricultural machinery dealership groups in Australia.
Chesterfield's outgoing owners, the Pennefather family, had endorsed the purchase as the best way to ensure the legacy of the business they had nurtured for more than 50 years.
"I know our customers and the team can look forward to an excellent experience with Vanderfield and RDO Australia Group and I am delighted by this opportunity for these excellent dealerships to secure a positive future," Mr Effeney said.
RDO Australia Group is also a major Vermeer equipment distributor.
Ms Whitcombe said RDO expected a smooth transition which would be straightforward for customers.
"We are confident in the future of Australian agriculture and we're pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Chesterfield teams into the future," she said.
"We want our customers to know we are here for the long-term and ready to support them through their challenges as well as their growth opportunities."
Chesterfield customers were assured they would continue dealing with the same teams they knew and respected, with the added benefit of RDO's growing support network behind them.
"The local salespeople, service technicians and parts staff have years of experience and will continue to be there to support our customers," Ms Whitcombe said.
"We're delighted to welcome these teams and customers into our RDO family."
In the south, Mr Hutcheon said the 67-year-old Hutcheon and Pearce business also wanted to build on the strong foundations already in place in Dubbo, Warren and surrounding areas.
"Having a long history in the small grains, hay, cotton and livestock segments through southern NSW and northern Victoria means Hutcheon and Pearce is in a prime position to ensure a smooth transition for customers and staff."
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