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Rocky Mountain buys Peace-region Case dealer

A pair of Case IH farm equipment dealers in northwestern Alberta are set to build up the reach of Calgary’s Rocky Mountain Dealerships group in the Peace region.

Publicly-traded Rocky Mountain on Thursday announced a deal to buy the Case IH dealership assets of Houlder Automotive, which runs dealerships at Grimshaw and Falher, 25 km west and 65 km south of Peace River respectively.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, other than the expected closing date of Nov. 1. Rocky said it would complete the deal with its already-available cash or credit facilities.

Based at Grimshaw, Houlder sells and services Case IH, New Holland, MacDon, Bourgault, Schulte, Seed Hawk, Sakundiak and Cub Cadet farm equipment product lines at both locations.

Houlder, whose separate oilfield and pipeline construction business is not part of the Rocky Mountain deal, booked about $20 million in Case IH ag equipment-related revenues in its fiscal year ending Jan. 31, Rocky said.

The buyer will continue to "assess and execute strategic acquisitions as they become available," Rocky CEO Matt Campbell said Thursday in the company’s release.

"With this acquisition, Rocky will have a very strong position in the vibrant Peace Country agriculture market, and in northern Alberta as a whole."

Rocky’s only other outpost so far in Alberta’s Peace is a Case IH dealership at Clairmont, just north of Grande Prairie.

Rocky Mountain has been aggressively expanding in recent years, buying up and streaming dealerships into its own Hammer, Miller and Hi-Way Service networks, mostly in Alberta. Apart from the Houlder assets it now owns 38 dealerships, mainly Case IH shops, across the three Prairie provinces.

Rocky had said in March last year it would "slow down on acquisitions" in fiscal 2011 to make sure the dealerships it had already bought were "properly integrated" into the chain.

However, Campbell noted in June, Rocky has said it would still "assess accretive opportunities" where they appear.

Related story:
Prairie Case IH chain to "slow down" acquisitions, March 8, 2011

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