Flint Equipment Company has expanded into the Carolinas with the acquisition of Van Lott Inc.
The transaction, finalized July 11, means that Flint now has 10 branches in southern Georgia, northern Florida, eastern Alabama, western North Carolina and South Carolina.
It represents John Deere, Hitachi, Timberjack, Dynapac, Eager Beaver, Trail King, Sakai and Gomaco.
Chris Cannon, president of Flint Equipment Holdings, the Albany, Ga.-based holding company of Flint Equipment Company, said the acquisition expands the company’s footprint “and allows us to provide more resources to the customers and better opportunities for our employees.”
The acquisition of Van Lott is the seventh since Cannon purchased Flint Holdings. The parent company also oversees 10 branches of Albany Tractor in southern Georgia, a John Deere agricultural and consumer products dealership, and Flint Power Systems, a John Deere engine master distributorship, which operates in six southeast states and the Caribbean. Its employees total 450.
Van Lott, founded in 1932, had four branch locations, all of which will be retained.
“We have tried to retain as many people as we could,” Cannon said.
Through the transition, Flint has been meeting one-on-one with former Van Lott customers and bringing them up to date on its business philosophy and how they can work together. Open houses will be scheduled in the near future.
Cannon is always looking for an opportunity to expand Flint’s footprint in contiguous territories, but won’t likely stray from the Southeast. The construction equipment industry is going through an era of consolidation, so Cannon said a company needs a bigger footprint in order to excel.
However, he said, “Big’s not what Flint’s about. We’re not growing to get big, we’re growing to perform better. Our operations are decentralized, but with centralized support functions. We are very relationship-oriented with our customers, and we also are big believers in supporting products with the best parts and service support.”
Cannon said an acquisition is always an exciting time for a business owner. “It allows us to be able to embrace a new customer base and a new group of employees.”
The 35-year veteran of the industry said he has always enjoyed working with construction equipment, even in weaker economic times.
“The challenges of this industry, particularly in the downturn, will separate the good managers from the bad managers,” Cannon said.
For more information, visit www.flintequipco.com. CEG Staff