Western Star Trucks Australia to be sold to Penske Automotive

Penske Automotive Group, an international automotive retailer, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a distributor of commercial vehicles, related spare parts and aftermarket support across Australia and New Zealand and portions of Southeast Asia from Transpacific Industries Group Limited. MAD D2 BTS 13_1944

Western Star Trucks Australia primarily distributes heavy and medium-duty trucks for Western Star, MAN and Dennis Eagle through a network of over 80 independent dealers while serving customers across a number of industries, including on-highway, logistics, construction, mining, manufacturing, agricultural and waste/refuse collection.

The Western Star truck brand, an affiliate of Daimler Trucks North America, is a top-three Australian heavy-duty truck brand and holds a leading position in key market segments. The MAN Truck and Bus brand is majority-owned by Volkswagen AG and is within the top-six suppliers to the Australian bus market. Dennis Eagle is a growing brand within the specialist refuse collection vehicle market.

Closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2013.  Including vehicle inventory, parts, assets and goodwill, the company expects the total purchase price to be approximately US$200 (AU$215,801,753) which will be financed using available cash flow from operations and availability under the company’s credit and floorplan financing facilities.  The transaction is subject to specified closing conditions, including OEM approval.

“Western Star Trucks provides us with an attractive gateway to enhance our global business profile,” said Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger S. Penske.

“Strong market dynamics, multiple growth options and one of the largest and well-established dealer networks in Australia and New Zealand enhance the business opportunity.  We believe that our existing relationships with heavy and medium-duty truck manufacturers and our experience in operating distribution and dealership-related businesses provide us with a unique opportunity to expand our business while potentially providing a steppingstone to Southeast Asian markets for other parts of our business.”

Western Star Trucks has a seasoned local management team which is expected to provide a seamless transition.

Paul Glavac, Managing Director of Transpacific Commercial Vehicle Group said, “We are very eager to move forward as part of Penske Automotive Group – we now have a total company focus on commercial vehicles, and access to additional professional business practices and automotive experience which will provide for enhanced customer service and a broader platform for growth for us and our dealers. We are excited about our prospects and look forward to continue to work with our existing dealers and customers.”

“Our relationship with Transpacific will remain strong, and we will continue to provide quality products and customer service to this industry leading company.”

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