Toromont to buy Cat dealer Hewitt

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Reuters — Toromont Industries said Monday it would buy privately held Hewitt Group for about $1.02 billion in cash and shares to expand its network of heavy equipment dealers in Eastern Canada.

Through the deal, Concord, Ont.-based Toromont will acquire Hewitt’s 45 Caterpillar dealerships in Quebec, the Maritimes, Labrador and Ontario, increasing the number of Toromont’s heavy equipment dealerships to 120.

Toromont will pay Hewitt $917.7 million in cash and 2.25 million Toromont shares, the company said.

Toromont said the acquisition, which is expected to close by mid-October, will add to net earnings next year.

The company will fund the deal through cash on hand and debt.

Hewitt is the authorized Caterpillar equipment dealer for Quebec and western Labrador. Atlantic Tractors and Equipment, which Hewitt has owned since 1995, is the Cat dealer for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

“The decision to sell the business founded 65 years ago by my father has not been an easy one, but is the outcome of much reflection on the part of my son David and me,” Hewitt CEO Jim Hewitt said in a release.

Combining Hewitt with Toromont’s operations in Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador and Nunavut “creates the foundation for an even more competitive position in the natural resource, infrastructure and construction industries in Canada,” the companies said.

Privately-held Hewitt, headquartered in the Montreal area at Pointe-Claire, employs over 2,000 people across the East.

Reporting for Reuters by Ahmed Farhatha in Bangalore. Includes files from Network staff.

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