Flagler Acquires Florida Volvo CEs

Mon May 10, 2004 - Southeast Edition

As part of its stated intention to divest the distribution territories and assets that Volvo Construction Equipment acquired from its former dealer, L. B. Smith, Volvo CE has sold its Florida construction equipment distribution marketing area, with the exception of Tallahassee, to Flagler Construction Equipment LLC, Orlando, FL.

The appointment of Flagler Construction Equipment as an authorized Volvo CE dealer for the area was effective April 30, 2004. The company will serve its newly acquired market areas from current Florida LB Smith branch facilities in Orlando, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa. Flagler Construction Equipment’s purchase of the Florida territory is the first divestment by Volvo CE of its LB Smith North America territories.

Volvo CE purchased the assets associated with the Volvo construction equipment distribution business of L. B. Smith Inc., its distributor for a majority of the East Coast, in May 2003. Volvo CE has, since that acquisition, continued the operations of the former dealer at the existing 31 locations under the name LB Smith. At the time of the acquisition, Volvo CE announced its intention to divest itself of the business over time.

“The sale of the specific Florida LB Smith marketing territory — one of our most valuable markets – to Flagler Construction Equipment, is the first divestment by Volvo CE of the LB Smith equipment distribution territories. It is a good example of our intent,” said Scott Hall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Volvo Construction Equipment, “to find only experienced, financially strong purchasers that have long-term commitments to the continued development of the dealership and its partnership with Volvo CE. Interest in the LB Smith market areas has been strong since our acquisition last year, and we are evaluating each interested party with regard to its commitment to invest in and develop the business consistent with Volvo CE’s long-term goals.”

The process of appointing new dealers for the balance of the LB Smith market territories is on-going.

The new Volvo CE dealer for Florida, Flagler Construction Equipment Company LLC is headquartered in Maitland. Thomas Holmes is chairman and chief executive officer of the corporation, and Chris Wilmot, formerly vice president and general manager for LB Smith in Florida, is president of the company. Mark McDonnell has been named executive vice president of finance and administration and Howard McNeal has been appointed vice president, product support and customer service.

“We have a tremendous opportunity, with the resources of Flagler and the same people who helped build LB Smith in Florida into one of Volvo CE’s largest and most successful dealerships, to expand and strengthen the position of Volvo Construction Equipment in the Florida construction industry,” said Wilmot.

Wilmot also announced that current LB Smith employees will remain with the new company.