Prairiewide Case IH chain to buy Sask. dealer

A group of Case IH dealerships in expansion mode across the Prairies has made its first move into western Saskatchewan.

Publicly-traded Rocky Mountain Dealerships of Calgary on Tuesday announced it has a deal in place to buy the shares of J+B Equipment, a Case IH ag dealership based at Kindersley, Sask., for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is expected to close April 1, the company said.

While Rocky Mountain has already taken over a number of dealerships in Saskatchewan’s southeast, “this is a strategically important acquisition for Rocky as it marks our entry into the important western Saskatchewan market,” Rocky Mountain CEO Brian Taschuk said in a release.

The Kindersley location, he said, “will allow for better continuity, management, product support and inventory access between our Hi-Way Service stores in Alberta and our Miller Equipment stores in eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.” 

J+B, which has operated in the west-central Kindersley area for over 40 years, booked revenues of about $18 million in its most recent fiscal year ending Oct. 31.

The operation was directly owned by Case Co. before it was turned over to private hands, most recently owner Richard Jones. Other brands J+B handles include Degelman, Honey Bee and Land Pride as well as Alberta manufacturer Ezee-On, which this week was taken over by Winnipeg’s Buhler Industries.

Counting J+B, Rocky Mountain’s dealership network includes 38 branches, which sell, rent and lease new and used farm and construction equipment, primarily CNH’s Case IH brand.

Rocky Mountain has previously said it expects the network of Case IH and Case Construction dealerships to see consolidation much like Deere’s and Caterpillar’s did starting in the 1980s.

There are still over 1,000 Case IH ag dealerships and over 500 Case Construction branches in North America, Rocky Mountain said.

Consolidation within the CNH dealer network has been “less rapid,” Rocky Mountain said, due in part to Case Construction equipment dealerships in Alberta having been corporately owned until 1993.

“Our view that consolidation is a natural and logical outcome within the Case IH dealer network,” Rocky Mountain has said on its website.

“Some of the factors that we believe will drive consolidation include: exit strategies for dealership owners; the need for increased operating efficiencies in an increasingly competitive market; and the improved cost-managements a dealership network affords.”

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