Brandt takes over Wickham Flower yards and expands into South Australia

The race to take out the biggest slice of John Deere yards just warmed up as Brandt outbid all others to score the Wickham Flower network

Brandt will expand its ownership of John Deere dealerships into South Australia following the purchase of Wickham Flower & Co Pty Ltd assets

The Wickham Flower yards have been highlighted as a takeover for the past few years, if the price was right, and apparently Brandt matched the level of remuneration Wickham Flower directors were expecting.

With the acquisition of the Wickham Flower & Co Pty Ltd assets it places the Brandt Group of Companies in a head-to-head battle as to who will end up with the most John Deere yards by the end of 2022.

Brandt is in fact the rookie in the wild exchange of John Deere yard grabs over the past two years, but this rookie is one to watch as it has some very impressive worldwide assets to throw into the ring.

When Brandt bought out Canadian equipment supplier Cervus Equipment in October 2021 the take-over created Canada’s largest-ever equipment dealer network, adding 64 agriculture, transportation, and material handling equipment locations to Brandt’s existing John Deere Construction & Forestry dealerships across Canada. 

The deal also came with ten dealerships across Victoria, and placed Brandt as the largest John Deere dealership in the world with 120 full-service equipment dealerships. See the detailed news story at the time on this link.

Brandt Tractor, now in control of the ten Cervus dealerships across Victoria, located in Hamilton, Colac, Sunshine, Ballarat, Leongatha, Terang, Maffra, Lilydale, Knoxfield and Pakenham, adds four Wickham Flower yards to that portfolio.

Crossing the state border into South Australia, the Wickham Flower yards now under the Brandt Tractor insignia are located at Bordertown, Keith, Mt Gambier and Naracoorte, bringing the Brandt Tractor operations up to 23 John Deere dealerships across Australia and New Zealand.

With an eye on other John Deere franchise stragglers with five yards or less are ever expanding farm equipment operations such as Hutcheon & Pearce operating across Central and Southern NSW with an 18 strong dealership following the purchase of Peel Valley Group’s Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Quirindi and Wee Waa yards in April 2022.

This purchase signalled to the more obvious front runner RDO Australia Group, trading as RDO Equipment that the east coast was not theirs alone.

Hot on the take-over trail was Hutcheon & Pearce when it purchased Peel Valley Machinery in April 2022 – left to right is Steve John and Libby Khan Directors of Peel Valley Group with new owner Arron Hutcheon CEO of Hutcheon & Pearce

RDO Equipment already had its plate full at the company had worked its way into the long standing family owned Vanderfield’s with a minority stake at first, but then eventually taking the full dealership over.

Then as an example of its more than ample banker backing, went on to engulf the family-owned Chesterfield yards with an offer simply too good to refuse, forming a highly formidable 29 yard John Deere dealership across New South Wales and Queensland.

Both the long-held family businesses that the Vanderfield and Chesterfield names represented disappeared without a trace. There was no value attached to name of the two businesses that had been trading for 58 and 57 years respectively.

See more on the Chesterfield take over here, and more on the Vanderfield disappearance here.

Then there is a very successful John Deere franchise out west that has nowhere to expand, other than towards the east coast. Up steps AFGRI with 19 yards across the west, and with only a few other yards standing in its way between is current locations and the Victoria/SA border line.

Now that Brandt has stepped across the Victorian border into South Australia, what’s to stop AFGRI from migrating into some cosy eastern state Deere strongholds. Nothing.

See more on how AFGRI built up their stable of John Deere yards on this link.

Following the latest agreement to acquire Wickham Flower’s four locations in South Australia, Brandt CEO Shaun Semple had this to say, “Like Brandt, Wickham Flower has a proud history dating back 90 years and we are excited to have this strong foundation to build on.

“Brandt has a lot to offer and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and earn the loyalty of our new customers through a combination of premium products and services and a consistent, high-quality customer support experience,” Shaun Semple added.

Brandt is no stranger to our local market. For over 30 years, Brandt’s manufactured products, including high quality grain handling and cultivation equipment, have been a common sight on farms.

This additional retail footprint provides local farmers with increased access to a comprehensive line-up of Brandt-manufactured augers, belt conveyors, chaser bins, heavy harrows and more, along with a full range of John Deere agricultural, turf, golf and compact construction equipment.

“It’s exciting to see that the values that have driven Wickham Flower’s success for over nine decades will live on under the new ownership,” says Wickham Flower Dealer Principal, Vaughn Colwill.

“I am so pleased that while the name on the door may change, customers will still be able to count on their trusted local team for advice, support, and the best selection of equipment in the region,” Vaughn Colwill concluded.

The transaction will have an immediate positive impact for customers as the company rolls out plans to introduce expanded equipment and parts inventories.

The agreement is expected to close on 30 June 2022, when the 90 year old Wickham Flower business runs its final lap as a John Deere dealer.