Hunter Powell Return to Beloved Contracting Industry
Tenby Powell of Hunter Powell Investment Partners has invested – or, to be totally accurate, re-invested – in the world-renowned Takeuchi construction equipment brand here in New Zealand, with agency agreements for the Pacific Islands including Papua New Guinea.
Together with private equity partners, Powell acquired fledgling Auckland-based company Hirepool in 2003 and as Chief Executive led it to becoming a nationwide market leader by 2006. The growth was staggering, sometimes with three acquisitions per month, all requiring a successful merger into the mothership as part of New Zealand’s equipment rental sector consolidation.
Hirepool, purchased from Owens Corporation for $43m, sold for $172m some thirty-six months later, with increased revenues of 300%, increased profits of 120%, employment of 250% more staff and returns of 10 times equity to shareholders, providing an annual compound return of 132%.
One such investment was the Takeuchi agency in 2005, marking the creation of Hirepool’s retail division. However, a change of owner in 2006 brought about a change of strategy and the retail division was sold.
Jump forward to 2017 and Powell didn’t think twice when offered the opportunity to reinvest in the digger brand – and industry - he loves.
“I’m thrilled to be back in the construction and contracting industry where I have many friends and associates,” says Powell. “Takeuchi is a highly valued brand and has a loyal following in New Zealand and throughout the world.”
The New Zealand Equipment Group, distributor of Takeuchi machinery, has already undergone major changes since Hunter Powell Investments acquired it in late October 2017. “It’s been more than just a breath of fresh air, it’s been a whirlwind to be honest,” laughs CEO Paula Evans.
“In eight weeks we have a new cloud-based computing system, a new inventory and parts management system, new key appointments have been made, all bringing a wealth of industry experience, and we have re-established our national service network. Soon we will have announcements about new agency agreements.
“Takeuchi provides a firm base from which a range of additional ground engaging equipment lines can be anchored and we have reached agreement on representing other globally proven brands in the New Year. More on that soon. In the meantime, we are all very pleased to have a professional, well-resourced investor like Hunter Powell Investment Partners take over the New Zealand Equipment Group and I’m looking forward to growing a burgeoning New Zealand SME business into a larger company,” says Evans.