ANNOUNCEMENT – New Forest Farm Machinery and R Hunt merger
The Hunt and Smales families are very pleased to announce that as of this week an
agreement has been reached whereby R Hunt Ltd and New Forest Farm Machinery Ltd will
merge to form a new company, Hunt Forest Group.
New Forest Farm Machinery is a high performing Agricultural, Professional Turf,
Homeowner and Construction dealer trading from 2 outlets, New Forest Farm Machinery
have recently opened a new turf equipment outlet at Cadbury Business Park in Sparkford,
near Yeovil in Somerset. The premises serve the dealer’s extended trading area that was
initially established in 2014 after New Forest took over the professional turf business of
Rochford Garden Machinery.
The dealership offers John Deere’s full range of professional
golf and amenity turf equipment including mowers, aerators, sprayers, tractors and Gator
utility vehicles, as well as homeowner and construction equipment. Based at Ringwood in
Hampshire, New Forest Farm Machinery has been a John Deere agricultural dealer since
1979 and has held the turf franchise since John Deere’s commercial and consumer
equipment business, as it was then known, started in 1986. The company also have
extensively refurbished it’s Ringwood customer retail area, helping to strengthen the
customer experience and quality of service provided by New Forest and cementing the
agreement between the 2 businesses. Although focusing heavily on turf and homeowner
business, NFFM still maintain over two thirds of the agricultural tractor market share in their
area of responsibility. New Forest currently employs 43 people.
R Hunt is a highly successful John Deere Agricultural and Homeowner dealer, focusing
primarily on agricultural products and services from 4 outlets covering Wiltshire, Hampshire,
Berkshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. R Hunt currently is capturing around fifty percent of
the tractor market with similar figures for harvesting equipment.
R Hunt Ltd have been a John Deere dealer since 1971 and have consistently grown from the
family home in Anna Valley, Hampshire. The company has a strong emphasis on customer
service that carries on from the late Roger Hunt and as an example, regularly runs training
schools for customers to help optimise their machines and ensure the maximum return
from their investments, new or used. R Hunt were the first dealer to sell AutoTrac in the UK
and Ireland, a product now considered mainstream and pioneered the first dealer owned
mobile RTK network to spearhead the guidance revolution. The company has a deep
understanding of available technology and precision agriculture, supported with staff
working from within a dedicated FarmSight department. Today the company has 71 staff.
Management members from both businesses are carried over to form one board of
directors led by Tim Hunt – known to many customers of both businesses already.
Two already very strong and profitable businesses will merge, to give Hunt Forest Group not
only access to the full line of John Deere products for those depots where permitted and
other shared franchises but also more resources for customers and staff, more inventory
both parts and wholegoods, more product support capability and a wider knowledge base –
all of which are paramount to deliver a distinctive customer experience.
“The emphasis of the merger is very much on the ability for both companies to grow and
have the opportunity to engage with more customers, plus provide diversification with the
franchises held by New Forest Farm Machinery for the entire business. As well as aligning
with the John Deere ‘Dealer of Tomorrow’ strategy, both families feel confident that this
merger helps to establish Hunt Forest Group as a frontline Ag and Turf dealer for the future
in the UK” said managing director Tim Hunt.
Ed Smales, New Forest Managing Director adds, “Having a long-standing relationship, we
are excited about our future working with the Hunt family to further grow our business.
Their experience in large Ag and precision farming will enhance the customer experience
within our current territory and we are looking forward to being able to expand Hunt Forest
Group creating a diverse and robust business for the future”
Whilst there may be some initial movement of some specialist staff to other depots where
coverage for specific products is required, there are no changes to depot structure or teams
planned to ensure continuity and a consistent experience for our customers.
Although the merger is expected to be fully completed in January 2019, customers should
expect to see company branding, marketing and communications all under the new name of
Hunt Forest Group in the coming months.
Ed Smales, Managing Director New Forest Farm Machinery Ltd
Tim Hunt, Managing Director R Hunt Ltd
Fax: +44(0)1425 480890
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