Gough expands on back of Palfinger takeover

Gough Group buys the Palfinger franchise for Australia and Papua New Guinea

By Rob McKay | October 13, 2010

Gough Group has added to its presence by buying the Palfinger franchise for Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The expansionary New Zealand truck parts and accessories firm has held the NZ franchise for the Austrian truck-mounted knuckle-boom crane manufacturing business for 19 years.

Palfinger Australia CEO Herbert Ziegelbock says it will be business as usual but with a new ownership structure.

"The time was right to sell the dealership in order to prepare it for its next growth phase and product expansion in Australia," Ziegelbock says.

"I view this as simply a change of shareholding only, as I will continue managing the business as part of my agreement with the Gough Group."

Despite already having a "good market share" and with the idea that ‘standing still is going backwards’ in mind - "that’s the bottom line" - Ziegelbock had been looking towards options for the company, which included a takeover, introducing more product lines or helping form a larger enterprise.

"This was, by a long shot, the best option," he says, describing Gough as a "good growth platform".

Palfinger Australia has branches in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Palfinger has a world market share of more than 30 percent.

It also makes tail-lifts, marine cranes, hook loaders, truck-mounted forklifts and container handling systems - all products that Gough is familiar with.

"The acquisition of Palfinger Australia is a natural and strategic move by the Gough Group to expand one of our key global dealerships to now encompass Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands," Gough Group CEO Karl Smith says.

"We received positive encouragement from Palfinger AG to expand our existing dealership arising from the planned divestment by Herbert Ziegelbock, the current owner of Palfinger Australia, who has established and grown the dealership to a market leadership position since 1991."

Gough’s Australian arm, Gough Transport Systems, already supplies ATS Cranes products, which are at the lighter end of the market.

Gough bought Westinghouse Airbrake Systems, the truck and trailer brake supplier, two years ago, adding it to its Melbourne HDTE suspension supplier.

Gough holds the Caterpillar franchise in New Zealand as well as the Transport Specialities and Transport Wholesale outlets and has undertaken an expansion of its truck parts business in Australia.

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