Sime Darby buys major Australian rental company

By Murray Pollok02 March 2023

Malaysia-based Sime Darby is to acquire Onsite Rental Group, one of the largest rental businesses in Australia, for A$635 million (€402 million).

Onsite reported revenues of A$302.1 million (€191 million) in the year to 30 June 2022, with profits after tax of A$33.0 million (€21 million) and EBITDA profit of A$121.7 million (€77.1 million). It employs around 500 people and has a network of 39 locations in the country.

Onsite Rental Group

Sime Darby is a €8.9 billion industrial business in Asia with interests in healthcare, automotive and heavy equipment. It is also one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealers, with operations in Australia (Hastings Deering), Malaysia (Tractors Malaysia), Singapore (Tractors Singapore), China (China Engineers) and New Zealand (Terra Cat).

The business has been heavily involved in rental through these Cat dealers, but Onsite will be its largest ‘pure play’ rental company.

Combined with Hastings Deering’s €112 million rental business, Sime Darby will have a €300 million rental operation in Australia, around half the size of market leader Coates and similar in scale to Kennards Hire.

Sime Darby’s CEO, Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson, said the acquisition would position the business to capture demand in the resources, infrastructure and energy sectors; “The Onsite acquisition complements our existing portfolio and provides geographic expansion to position our Industrial division in high growth areas of the Australian market.”

Malaysia’s Sime Darby owns numerous Caterpillar dealerships in Asia Pacific, including Hastings Deering in Australia. (Photo: Hastings Deering)

Dato’ Jeffri said Onsite’s management team will be retained.

Mike Foureur, CEO of Onsite, said Sime Darby was a natural fit for Onsite; “we are thrilled to be joining forces to build on our great success in the Australian market.

“With this backing, Onsite can invest into adjacencies, achieve supply chain efficiencies, expand into new markets and enhance our offering to accelerate growth and contract wins.”

Founded in 1910, Sime Darby Berhad has 22,862 employees, a presence in 19 countries in Asia Pacific, and revenues of €8.91 billion in the year to 30 June 2022.

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