Chandlers (Farm Equipment) to buy Lister's AGCO business

In a significant move Chandlers (Farm Equipment) Ltd are to purchase Lister Wilder's AGCO Agricultural business.

At the same time Lister Wilder will significantly expand their full line Kubota range of Groundcare, Agricultural and Construction machinery across the South.

The deal, which both parties stress is mutually beneficial, will see them both become two of the biggest dealerships in the UK for their respective partners.

Regarding the future of the current Lister Wilder branches, from the 4th January 2021, Chandlers will operate from the premises at Southam (Warwickshire), Wallingford (Oxfordshire), Devizes (Wiltshire) Cirencester (Gloucestershire) and Bristol.

Lister Wilder will continue to operate from Ashford (Kent), Guildford (Surrey), Reading (Berkshire) and cohabit Southam, Cirencester and Bristol while they build new Kubota Centres in the West.

Jason Scott, company chairman at Lister Wilder, said, "We’ll spend the next couple of months integrating systems to ensure the transition is seamless. The entire AGCO team are moving across and so it’s very much business as usual." He went on to say that customers will "..continue to ring the same numbers, visit the same branches, be supported by the same great engineers, looked after by the same passionate sales team and served by the same attentive parts team - just with a different name on the invoices."

Dealer led

Speaking to TurfPro founder Chris Biddle on his Inside AgriTurf podcast, Kubota UK md David Hart, described the deal as "complex" and confirmed that that move was not instigated by the manufacturers, rather than by the dealers themselves. David told Chirs, "AGCO have never made it a secret that their ‘Route 66’ strategy is to separate their brands slightly and I think Lister Wilder realised that was something they had to do.

"What happened then is Listers had a meeting with Chandlers to see what the opportunities were - which got into a bigger conversation of ‘why don’t we let the AGCO businesses go?'. That then allows Listers to focus wholly on the Kubota side."

David went on to confirm, "The move is good for Kubota because we’ve got a dealer now who is focussed solely around just their Kubota business. It’s worked out for both of us really."

Both Chandlers and Lister Wilder Ltd have steadily expanded over the past half century, growing around the Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra franchises. Chandlers currently operate from 7 depots covering primarily Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, whilst Lister Wilder currently operate from 8 depots covering Oxfordshire and the South-Central region.

Both dealers also partnered with Kubota for their commercial groundcare range of products, with Lister Wilder broadening its base further by encompassing Kubota construction across the South East of England.

With the Kubota business playing such an important part of Lister Wilder's £100m turnover and Chandlers very keen to expand their fully focused AGCO operation in line with AGCO’s brand exclusivity strategy, the companies issued a joint statement which said they were delighted that an agreement had been reached that allows for both businesses "to develop in line with the strategic goals of their primary franchises – giving both companies a clear and bright future."

The joint statement went on to say, "Both companies believe that this arrangement is a mutually beneficial agreement, allowing each enterprise to continue to invest in the very best of facilities, and in their respective teams going forward, to provide the highest level of customer service for their respective Brands.

"Chandlers and Lister Wilder look forward with excitement for the future and remain committed to being of service to their many customers for many years to come."

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