Volvo Construction Equipment last week sold the five Florida branches of LB Smith, the multi-state distribution company that was its largest dealer, to Flagler Construction Equipment LLC, based in Maitland, Fla., a suburb of Orlando. Volvo acquired the assets of LB Smith, its dealer for most of the East Coast, in May of last year when it was facing financial difficulties and, at the time, stated its intention to eventually divest itself of the business.
The appointment of Flagler as an authorized Volvo CE dealer for the area is effective April 30. Flagler will serve its newly acquired market areas from current Florida LB Smith branch facilities in Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.
“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,” said Scott Hall, Volvo CE’s executive vice president, sales and marketing. “It is a good example of our intent 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.”
Thomas Holmes is chairman and CEO of Flagler and Chris Wilmot, former vice president and general manager for LB Smith in Florida, is president. Mark McDonnell has been named executive vice president of finance and administration and Howard McNeal vice president product support and customer service. Wilmot announced that current LB Smith employees will remain with the new company, including current LB Smith branch managers Scott Rott, Orlando; Dean Bengford, Fort Myers; Don Baumgardner, Fort Lauderdale; Don Letterle, Jacksonville; and Bob Minichbauer, Tampa.
In addition to distribution, LB Smith has a large rental department and is No. 27 on the new RER 100.