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AHG confirms Higer bus import bid

On the buses: Distribution of Higer’s range of buses and coaches in Australia might fall to big automotive retailer AHG.

With WMC in administration, retailer AHG seeks to take over Chinese bus business

15 Oct 2015

AUSTRALIA’S largest motor vehicle retailer, Automotive Holdings Group (AHG), has confirmed it is in exclusive negotiations with the administrator of Sydney-based Chinese vehicle importer WMC to acquire the Higer bus distribution rights for Australia.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange today, AHG said any deal would be subject to “OEM approval”, meaning with the agreement of Chinese bus and coach manufacturer Higer which WMC has represented in this market for some years.

As GoAuto reported yesterday, WMC – also known as White Motor Corporation Australia – was placed in voluntary administration this month, with BDO Australia taking over the company’s reins.

And as expected, AHG is in the box seat to take over WMC’s operation, provided its offer is first accepted by BDO administrators James White and Rachel Burdett-Baker.

A meeting of WMC creditors was held at BDO’s office this week as the administrators sought to determine the assets and liabilities of WMC, which is based at Milperra, in Sydney’s west.

In the announcement to the ASX this morning, AHG managing director Bronte Howson confirmed his company’s interest in the Higer vehicle distribution business.

“AHG has had an association with Higer as an import partner to WMC and, with a number of new products being brought to market, we see significant growth potential in the brand,” he said.

“AHG is seeking to acquire the distribution rights for Higer Australia from the administrator.

“Higer produces a range of quality buses that are suitable for the local market as we build the brand’s reputation and sales. That outcome will also benefit existing and future customers of Higer in Australia.”

GoAuto understands that AHG underwrote at least part of WMC’s vehicle import development in Australia. In return, several AHG dealerships around the country handled Higer bus sales.

The model range currently covers seven models, from the 19-passenger Platinum to the 57-seat RoadBoss.

It has a chain of 13 dealerships in five states.

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