Prairie equipment dealer chain expands Alta. reach

An east-central Alberta farm equipment dealer is poised to become the latest member of the Rocky Mountain Dealerships group.

The Calgary company said Monday it’s signed a deal to buy all shares of Camrose Farm Equipment, which sells Case IH, New Holland, MacDon, Seed Hawk, Renn, RiteWay and other brands at its two dealerships in Camrose and Killam.

Rocky, which deals primarily in Case IH equipment through 37 dealership branches in the three Prairie provinces, said it expects to close the deal July 3 for an undisclosed sum.

The Camrose company, set up in 1996 by Barry Strilchuk and Cheryl Hellekson, booked ag-related revenues of about $54 million in its fiscal year ending March 31, Rocky Mountain said.

Rocky had been aggressively expanding through acquisitions in recent years, streaming dealerships into its own Hammer, Miller and Hi-Way Service dealer networks, mostly in Alberta.

However, the company 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.

"We have maintained that we would continue to assess accretive opportunities, which we strongly believe (Camrose) to be," Rocky CEO Matt Campbell said in Friday’s release.

"From a strategic perspective, these dealerships strengthen our position in the central Alberta market, which continues to offer a strong outlook with a growing economy, solid commodity prices and exceptional growing conditions."

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

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