INTERVIEW | Bell Equipment plots JSE exit as battle with shareholders heats up

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Bell Equipment's Tracked Carrier
Bell Equipment's Tracked Carrier
supplied

After 26 years on the JSE, earthmoving equipment company Bell Equipment is plotting its exit, a family-ownership revival and global growth - but some shareholders have vowed to fight the company to make its move at the right price.

For decades, the Richards Bay-headquartered company was run by its founding family since its establishment in 1954, before its JSE listing in 1995. During its 67 years in business, the group - which specialises in articulated dump trucks (ADTs) - grew its footprint beyond South Africa into countries such as Zambia and the US. Its business now includes after-market services and distribution.

Today, the company is making its way back to its roots as a family-owned business, ending a relationship with US equipment producer John Deere that began more than 23 years ago, offering to buy back its 31.41% stake at R10 per share. But its bid has been met with shareholder contention that the offered price is too low - the group's net asset value is between R30 and R40.

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