$26.2 million Rush Acquisition Makes Leslie Doggett Deere's Largest US Dealer

Houston-based Leslie Doggett Industries $26.2 million acquisition of Rush Enterprises makes the company the largest John Deere construction equipment dealer in the United States


HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Houston-based Leslie Doggett Industries (through its division Doggett Heavy Machinery Services) recently announced it has acquired the Houston and Beaumont John Deere construction equipment dealerships from Rush Enterprises (NASDAQ:RUSHA & RUSHB) for $26.2 million, making the company the largest John Deere construction equipment dealer in the United States. The deal was finalized on September 10, 2010.

The new acquisition now allows Leslie Doggett exclusive rights to sell John Deere construction and forestry products for the entire state of Louisiana, east and southeast Texas, including all of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Brownsville, Texas. The company is also the largest Toyota Industrial Equipment dealer.

This transaction lifts Leslie Doggett’s estimated annual revenues above $455 million and increases total full-time employees to approximately 710. This jump in revenues would rank Leslie Doggett #29 in the Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 Private Companies based in Houston from its previous spot at #43.

“This acquisition compliments Leslie Doggett’s existing John Deere enterprise, allowing Houston-based contractors doing business in East Texas, Southeast Texas and Louisiana to have a single source provider of heavy equipment maintenance, repair and rental services,” said Brian McLemore, chief financial officer with Leslie Doggett. “With our team’s focus on best-in-class customer service, Leslie Doggett drives to be the preferred provider of heavy equipment support services in all of its markets.”

The purchase of Rush Enterprises comes on the heels of Leslie Doggett’s acquisition of 11 dealerships for $103 million from Nortrax, company-owned stores ran by John Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), in 2007. In 2005, Leslie Doggett also acquired dealerships in Corpus Christi, Victoria, Brownsville and Pharr from JC Brown for $20 million.

This latest acquisition by Doggett is the 12th in the past 17 years, allowing the company the unique distinction of building three separate dealership enterprises for three separate first-tier manufacturers (Case Construction Equipment, Toyota Industrial Equipment and John Deere Construction Equipment) over the past 17 years with each becoming the largest dealership group in the United States for each respective manufacturer. This distinction is a first in North America for the heavy equipment business and not known to have been duplicated.

Houston-based Torch Partners, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Leslie Doggett for the Nortrax acquisition and this transaction.

John Deere (Deere & Company - NYSE: DE) is the world's leading provider of advanced products and services for agriculture and forestry and a major provider of advanced products and services for construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment. Since it was founded in 1837, the company has extended its heritage of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation around the globe.

Leslie Doggett Industries is a Houston, Texas-based provider of material handling, construction and forestry equipment. The company is the largest John Deere construction equipment provider and Toyota Industrial Equipment dealer in the United States. Leslie Doggett Industries currently serves the majority of Texas and Louisiana customers.