CNH Industrial grabs one of Australia’s oldest farm manufacturers

Peter Sweeney HB’s outgoing owner and CEO, hands the reigns over to Michele Lombardi, Executive Managing Director CNH Industrial Australia & New Zealand

In the deal of a lifetime, Peter Sweeney who turns 71 this year, has ensured the company’s continual survival by selling to CNH Industrial.

The iconic Australian agricultural equipment manufacturer that began in 1838 will be integrated into CNH’s portfolio of seeding and tillage line.

If CNH Industrial ever wanted to ramp up a local manufacturing arm, it now has the arsenal to achieve just that.

Horwood Bagshaw’s existing agricultural machinery operation sits on 11 hectares on the outskirts of Mannum SA, 80 kilometres east of Adelaide. It has an undercover area of 10,500 square metres that runs far from capacity.

The man that saved Horwood Bagshaw from certain closure in 1998, Peter Sweeney, had a lucky break when he was asked to produce a report on the then ailing company in 1998. He concluded the potential of two of HB’s products, a seed drill and a grader scraper would produce enough income for the company to thrive.

He was so convinced, that he ended up buying the company from then owner by default FAI Insurance.

In 2014 when Horwood Bagshaw first listed for sale, it generated 87% of its claimed $11 million annual revenue from its Precision Seeding System – PSS – scaribar and airseeder product lines, and added to this was its grader scraper leveller.

Michele Lombardi, Executive Managing Director CNH Industrial Australia & New Zealand, said Horwood Bagshaw’s current product line would continue to be manufactured in Mannum SA.

The support provided by CNH Industrial, as part of the integration, will include extensive marketing assistance, product development, operational flexibility and many enhanced customer benefits through the company’s expansive dealer network and CNH Industrial Capital retail financing facilities.

CNH Industrial is proposing to expand the national footprint of the Horwood Bagshaw brand, in addition to maintaining the full product line and dealer network.

CNH Industrial expressed that existing HB customers will continue to receive after sales support, including existing warranty and parts cover.