JSE-listed Barloworld and German company BayWa have entered into a joint venture (JV) to further expand their agriculture and materials handling operations in Southern Africa.
Subject to approval by competition authorities, the parties will establish a 50:50 JV company, BHBW Holdings, which will start operations in early 2017.
BHBW will have distribution rights for US-based agriculture company Agco’s Massey Ferguson and Challenger brands in the agriculture sector, and Hyster-Yale’s Hyster and UTILEV brands in the materials handling equipment sector.
Management, staff and infrastructure remain in place, as does the existing Barloworld Agriculture dealer network.
“This JV offers us the opportunity to further expand in a growth region of main strategic importance for global agriculture,” said BayWa CEO Klaus Josef Lutz.
He added that the JV would address the long-term demand in the Southern African region for increased productivity and economic strength of its agricultural sector. Lutz noted that agricultural trade acted as a main driver for the mechanisation and sustainable development of local agriculture.
In combination with the trading business, BayWa is planning to introduce digital farming solutions based on the group’s existing digital portfolio and experience with Agco products.
Barloworld CEO Clive Thomson added that there were good opportunities for agriculture and materials handling in Southern Africa and, through combining the core competencies of the JV, the companies could build a bigger and more successful business while also creating jobs and improving food security in the region.
This is the second JV between Barloworld and BayWa. In 2015, the companies established a similar 50:50 partnership in Zambia.