Sime Darby Motors to sell Australia, NZ distribution businesses

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): Conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd said its automotive arm Sime Darby Motors Sdn Bhd has reached an agreement to sell its Australia and New Zealand Sime Darby Automobiles distribution businesses.

These companies import and distribute the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

In a statement today, Sime Darby said the indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sime Darby Motors have today entered into assets sale agreements with the respective parties for the disposal of assets relating to Peugeot and Citroen businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

It said the acquirers are Inchcape Australia for the Australian business and the Rick Armstrong Motor Group for the New Zealand business.

The group said it was expected that, effective June 1, these companies will take over the Australasian distribution for the PSA brands.

Sime Darby Motors managing director for Australia and New Zealand Patrick McKenna said that after careful consideration, a decision was reached to divest the Australasian distribution businesses.

"This is in line with Sime Darby Motors' strategy to focus on the expansion of its retail car and commercial truck footprints on both sides of the Tasman.

"Once the decision was made, KPMG was engaged to conduct a full tender process for the sales on our behalf," he said.

McKenna said that throughout the sale process it had been the company's priority to ensure that the vast majority of its employees in both countries would be offered employment under their existing terms and conditions.

"I would like to acknowledge this terrific group of people and wish them well in the future," he added.

At the midday break, Sime Darby shed 1 sen or 0.11% to RM9.32 with 814,200 shares traded.