Volvo Construction Equipment has announced that it is divesting its wholly owned British dealership to long-term distribution partner SMT. The deal was signed July 3 and is now followed by an employee consultation period before becoming effective, which is intended to be Aug. 31.

The sale includes the distribution rights for Volvo-branded construction equipment machines, parts and aftersales in Great Britain, as well as Volvo Construction Equipment Great Britain’s headquarters in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, its nationwide operations. It also includes most other assets and the transfer of all employees. The existing management structure will remain in place.

“Volvo CE’s distribution in Great Britain is now in the hands of an independent and strategically aligned distribution partner, led by an experienced leadership team,” said Volvo CE president Martin Weissburg. “This move supports the general transformation program that is improving the long-term competitiveness of Volvo CE. SMT is already an established Volvo Group distribution partner, distributing Volvo CE products and services in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxenbourg, as well as 18 African nations including Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria. Part of the SDA Holding group, SMT had revenues in 2016 in excess of €350 million, and is a distribution partner for other Volvo Group companies.”

“This change is an example of Volvo CE’s objective of focusing on the development of industry-leading products and services, while at the same time partnering with like-minded and entrepreneurial distribution partners,” said Carl Slotte, president of Volvo CE’s Europe, Middle East and African sales region. “We feel that further growth in Great Britain is best achieved under the ownership of a strong independent dealer. We believe SMT, with its impressive record of accomplishment in the construction equipment market, is the right strategic distribution partner to grow and invest in this important European market long term.”

Nick Allen, the managing director for the British dealership, believes the acquisition will allow the dealership to become even more agile. “SMT really understands what it means to represent Volvo, so I am confident that we are in safe hands – we are excited at the prospect for developing the business further under our new owners,” he said.

Commenting on the acquisition, SMT’s CEO Jérôme Barioz added: “This acquisition is an important part of SMT’s growth strategy, and joins our successful recent purchases of Volvo CE distribution businesses in Benelux and Morocco. We respect what has been achieved by the Volvo team in Great Britain, and under SMT ownership we are committed to investing in its future success, one driven by offering the highest standards in services to customers.”