Farm equipment specialist acquires industry counterpart, doubling its operations to become AGCO’s largest UK dealership

Chandlers Farm Equipment Ltd. (Chandlers), a third-generation family business selling agricultural equipment, operating primarily across the Midlands and Lincolnshire, has acquired the AGCO division of Lister Wilder, doubling the size of its operations, and expanding its territory significantly across the UK to become AGCO’s largest UK dealership.

A global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions, AGCO is a network representing more than 4,200 independent dealers and distributors of some of the world’s most innovative agricultural machinery and equipment brands.

Chandlers, an AGCO dealer, was established in Grantham in 1935. The principal business activities are the supply and aftersales service of new and used agricultural tractors and farm equipment to the farming industry. Chandlers are main dealers for AGCO, (Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra), Manitou telehandlers, SsangYong vehicles amongst others.

Similarly, Lister Wilder, a family run business also in its third generation was established in Reading in 1947. The company has evolved to become a well-known and well-regarded name within the industry, having expanded both organically and through acquisition over the years.

Having grown steadily within the AGCO and Kubota franchise networks, it became challenging for Lister Wilder to represent both brands in the long term. As a result, the company chose to uncouple from the ACGO franchise, by selling to fellow AGCO dealer Chandlers, who already operated successfully in an adjacent geographical territory.

The deal creates a £125m revenue business for Chandlers operating across the East of England, and also allows Lister Wilder to refocus entirely on the Kubota brand which forms the bedrock of their operations.

“Our acquisition further strengthens our commitment to our customers, and the markets in which we operate” explains Gavin Pell, Managing Director Chandlers. “As the largest AGCO dealership in the UK, we are in a very strong position moving forward, least not for the fact we are backed by the world’s largest agricultural machinery company. The deal provides a mutually beneficial and pragmatic solution for both parties, and also means we can further enhance the range of products and services that we’ve become renowned for here at Chandlers.”

The transaction was completed by a specialist deal team from Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, led by Dan Bowtell. In light of completion, Dan comments “The deal comes off the back of AGCO’s “brand exclusivity” strategy – something which Lister Wilder would have been unable to do due to long-standing arrangements with Kubota.”

“This created an opportunity for both Chandlers and Lister Wilder – with Chandlers focussing primarily on expanding AGCO operations, and Lister Wilder choosing to refocus entirely on the Kubota brand having secured a successful sale of their agricultural division.”

“The deal puts both parties in a fantastic position, and there is no doubt an exciting future ahead.”

HSBC provided funding to facilitate the acquisition, led by Jack Coley Relationship Director within the East Midlands Corporate Banking Team.

Legal advice was provided by Sills and Betteridge.

Smith Cooper is one of the largest independently owned and preferred accountancy and business advisory firms for owner managed businesses across the Midlands. The firm specialises in providing intelligent, efficient and cost-effective bespoke advisory services to both corporate and individual clients. Smith Cooper has six offices across the Midlands including Derby, Birmingham and Nottingham.


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.