Both dealers hold the John Deere franchise, and the announcement was made via their websites and social media pages.
Hunts have four outlets covering Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight and is said to have around 50% of the tractor market for its patch, along with a similar share for harvesting equipment. They have been a John Deere dealer since 1971, starting from Anna Valley Hampshire with 71 staff in total. It currently sells the John Deere agri and homeowner products.
New Forest Farm Machinery is a professional turf, homeowner, construction and farm machinery franchise dealer. It has two outlets, located near Ringwood, Hampshire and Yeovil Somerset, the latter only opening in 2014. It started selling John Deere farm equipment in 1979 and currently employs 43 staff.
The board of directors for Hunt Forest will consist of management members from both businesses and will be headed up by Tim Hunt.
“The emphasis of the merger is very much on the ability for both companies to grow and have the opportunity to engage with more customers, plus provide diversification with the franchises held by New Forest Farm Machinery for the entire business. As well as aligning with the John Deere ‘Dealer of Tomorrow’ strategy, both families feel confident that this merger helps to establish Hunt Forest Group as a frontline Ag and Turf dealer for the future in the UK” said managing director Tim Hunt.
Ed Smales, New Forest Managing Director adds, “Having a long-standing relationship, we are excited about our future working with the Hunt family to further grow our business. Their experience in large Ag and precision farming will enhance the customer experience within our current territory and we are looking forward to being able to expand Hunt Forest Group creating a diverse and robust business for the future”