Bell Equipment ends relationship with John Deere after 20 years

B60E SomkheleMine TT Mar16 31A5024 pressBell Equipment is reportedly set to end its 21-year-old relationship with John Deere from January 2023.

Bell Equipment currently distributes a number of Bell-branded, John Deere designed and manufactured products in certain markets in Southern Africa either through its own network or via sub dealers. Its main market is South Africa.

In a statement released on Bell Equipment's interim results, the company announced, "Based on changes in the operating environment of both companies, Bell and Deere agreed on the future of these distribution arrangements. Bell will distribute Deere products until January 2023 and will continue to provide aftermarket, technical and product support to our customers for a further 10 years thereafter."

Bell Equipment will also transition from being an exclusive to non-exclusive Deere dealer from March next year.

Bell is reportedly in talks with other international equipment manufacturers to provide replacement products to its customers in Southern Africa. "Details of such arrangements will be communicated when available," the statement added. "We are confident that Bell’s close relationships with, and local understanding of, its customers, will stand us in good stead with regards to reinvigorating certain lines of product through new product alliances."

John Deere is now said to be selling its 31.4% stake in Bell Equipment to I A Bell & Company, which already holds a 38.7% shareholding. 

It comes after Bell Equipment group announced a loss of R52mn (US$3.1mn) for the six months ending June 30, compared with a profit of R152mn for the same period last year due to harsh economic conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But Bell's share price was said to have risen by 30% after the John Deere announcement.



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