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AAL buys Hyster in Australia

Thursday, 2 Jul 2009 ( #417 ) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
News Story
AAL has acquired all wholly owned Hyster divisions in Australia as well as the assets of National Fleet Network.
Recent rumours circulating in the forklift industry (see News #413) were confirmed this week with the announcement by Australia’s Adapt-A-Lift Forklift Rentals and Sales (AAL) that it has acquired NACCO Materials Handling Group’s Hyster retail operations and the National Fleet Network’s (NFN) rental fleet within Australia.

National Fleet Network is one of the country’s largest forklift fleet leasing and management companies, with over 6,500 equipment assets including trucks, forklifts and loaders.

AAL imports business manager Alicia Whiffen tells News that the deal has been under negotiation for the past two months, with an announcement to staff made on Tuesday this week.  "It’s a step forward for AAL which has been primarily a service and rental company in the past. Now we’re aligning ourselves with an actual brand through Hyster."

The deal involves the company taking over all wholly owned Hyster divisions in Australia as well as the assets of National Fleet Network including service agents around the country, which will all operate under the name Adapt-A-Lift Hyster.

Divisions taken over include Hyster North in Queensland, Hyster South East in Victoria and Tasmania, Hyster South in South Australia and Hyster West in Western Australia.

Independent Hyster dealerships such as New South Wales-based Hystandard Handling Equipment, Riverina Lift Trucks and Hunter Lift Trucks are not part of the deal, and neither are Yale retail dealerships.

Hunter Lift Trucks, which has been operating as an independent Hyster dealership for the past 24 years, says it was only officially informed of NMHG’s plans on Tuesday.

"It will definitely affect our business negatively," says sales manager Lex Griffiths, adding that everyone at the company is curious and a little unsettled about events.

Hystandard Handling Equipment director John Flynn says the recent announcement will not affect the business. "It’s business as usual," he adds.

Under the terms of the agreement, AAL has purchased selected Hyster Retail and National Fleet Network assets, and secured the rights to the Hyster brand name, registered trademarks and associated intellectual property within Australia.

As a result, AAL will build upon its forklift fleet management system by extending its rental fleet from 5,300 units to over 10,500 nationwide, as well as creating an immediate opportunity to compete in the national retail and parts market.
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