LEADING Australian farm gate and livestock handling equipment manufacturer Norton has been acquired by the New Zealand-based animal management company Gallagher Group.
The acquisition is expected to have cost advantages for Gallagher who can now sell Australian-made gates and equipment rather than ship similar products from its NZ manufacturing plant in Auckland.
A Gallagher statement said Norton Livestock Handling Solutions was founded in 1989 by brothers Tom and Peter Russo, and is widely acknowledged for offering high quality sheep and cattle handling equipment, farm gates, and sheep and cattle yards under their family-values brand.
The NZ company said as another long-standing family business serving the agricultural community, the acquisition of Norton’s manufacturing experience is the perfect complement to Gallagher, and a boost to the growth plans for both brands.
Norton currently holds a strong market position in south-east Australia, but with Tom and Peter looking to pursue other interests, and as the business continues to scale, Gallagher’s expertise in manufacturing and distribution and international reach will optimise results, Gallagher said.
The Russo brothers said there were just too many synergies between Norton and Gallagher for the acquisition not to be a perfect fit.
“We have a 20-year working relationship with Gallagher, so we knew from the get-go that things were going to work out well when we began discussions.
“Norton has been a part of our family for so long, it just wasn’t an option to hand it over to an unknown,” they said.
“Being family-run just as we have always been, Gallagher will be able to enhance the business values that have been really important to us.
“The exposure for Norton under the Gallagher management is a great opportunity,” the brothers said.
“The Gallagher brand is already well known in Australia and their existing position in the market and established sales channels will help the growth of Norton sales advance quickly.
“In a few years, we’ll be proud to drive past the factory and know that the Norton name, and team, are in good hands.”
Gallagher Australia general manager, Malcolm Linn, said the Australian Gallagher team is delighted to add Norton’s range of products to the line-up of solutions available via Gallagher.
“For over 80 years, Gallagher has led the way in the agricultural industry.
“This acquisition further cements our commitment to investing in farming products and equipment that make farm life easier and support customers to operate smarter and more profitably,” he said.
“Our business values and strategies are so clearly aligned; from the opportunities in using green steel that supports our sustainability goals, to digital solutions that enable individual livestock management for farmers.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Norton team into the Gallagher family and are excited about what we can achieve together through our combined passion for quality and customer experience.”
Source – Gallagher.