Hi-Way Hydraulics acquired by Coventry Group Ltd

Our Client – The Vendor

For over 40 years Hi-Way Hydraulics has specialised in the sales, service and repairs of hydraulic equipment such as: hydraulic pumps, motors, cylinders, control valves, steering units and transmissions. As the largest service provider of its kind in Regional Southern QLD, the Business operates from two locations Toowoomba and St George servicing customers across a variety of industries – agriculture, cotton ginning, oil and gas, mining services and transport. Hi-Way Hydraulics provides both workshop and mobile field-service solutions as well as custom design, manufacture and installation of hydraulic equipment. Operations are supported by a team of 12 staff and comprehensive Test Room, RAM Room Workshop, Showroom and Mobile Servicing infrastructure.

The brand was first established in 1972 and operated as a family business, except for a brief period in the late 1990’s when it was sold to USA Berendsen. The son of the original founder then established St George Hydraulics and, after repurchasing the Hi-Way Hydraulics brand, reopened in Toowoomba. With no clear succession strategy from within the Business, Hi-Way Hydraulics engaged Johnsons Corporate to run a specialised mid-market divestment campaign to identify prospective purchasers and provide the Vendor with an exit strategy for retirement.

The Sales Strategy

Hi-Way Hydraulics represented a rare opportunity for a purchaser to acquire an established regional brand with consistent revenues of approximately $5 million pa supported by healthy profit margins. There was clear potential to grow the Business via geographical expansion; increased workshop capacity; pursuit of larger tenders; securing new distribution agreements; and placing mobile hose vans on the road.

Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on Australian hydraulic engineering businesses, with secondary markets comprising commercial enterprises in the mining services; mobile and on-site equipment repairs & maintenance; lifting and rigging equipment; and torque equipment & pumps sectors. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 39 qualified, interested parties. Further vetting and negotiations resulted in the selection of a preferred buyer as well as a backup buyer. Of note Johnsons secured Offer and Acceptance with the Vendor’s preferred buyer despite going to market during the Mining Crash of 2012.

The Buyer

A division of ASX-listed Coventry Group Ltd, Cooper Fluid Systems is a specialist provider of hydraulic, pneumatic, fluid transfer and lubrication products and services focused on servicing the mining, construction and manufacturing industries.