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Clarke Willmott acts on agri acquisition deal

Law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has acted on a deal which sees Hampshire-based agricultural machinery specialist Hunt Forest Group acquire John Deere dealership C Smart Agricultural Services in Cheddar.

The move brings together both agricultural and turf equipment sales in a single business covering most of central southern England, while simplifying all aspects of parts and service supply to customers in the area.

Smart’s employees will be transferred as part of the sale, along with the three existing branch locations in Dorset and Somerset which will continue to operate under the business name Smart Ag Services. The expansion will see Hunt Forest Group nearly double in size, employing around 180 people in total.

Kelvin Balmont, chairman and head of Clarke Willmott’s Southampton office, said: “This is an exciting acquisition deal which brings together two businesses with shared core values and vision for the future.

“We were pleased to assist Hunt Forest with the acquisition and look forward to seeing how the business expands and invests in the coming years.”

Hunt Forest Group supplies the full John Deere product range from six outlets covering Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. A John Deere dealer since 1971, the company has a strong focus on customer service, first established by the late Roger Hunt who also helped the Smart family set up its dealer business.

Hunt Forest Managing Director, Tim Hunt, said: “This expansion of our business allows us to provide even better support to both our agricultural and professional turf customers across the region, with access to more machines, parts and technical know-how, as well as training and advice.”

Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.

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