Familiar name a majority owner
Young property investor Ben Gough has taken a majority stake in the Christchurch heavy machinery company his grandfather co-founded.
Gough, 38, said he was the first individual shareholder in 55 years to hold a majority stake in Gough Group since his grandfather, Tracy T Gough, who helped set up the company in 1929 with Edgar C Gough and Harry H Hamer.
Ben Gough's stake is now just under 51 per cent after he bought stakes held by other family members. He has a confidentiality agreement with the sellers to not reveal which of them sold. The shareholding members were a fairly small group.
He had previously held his shares in trusts, and some of them have been disestablished, leading to a consolidation of the shareholdings.
Companies Office records from February this year show two very large stakes, one nearly 50 per cent and the other 42.4 per cent, each held by three people. Gough said those people were acting as trustees for family members whose stakes were held in trusts.
He said the opportunity arose for him to strengthen his position and he took it. He was already heavily in involved in the Gough operation and on the board. He joined as a director in 2005 and is general manager of strategic development.
"For me it made sense."
It confirmed his commitment and sent positive signals to key stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and shareholders, he said.
The Gough group had a strong brand, diversified business and top-quality products in the heavy machinery markets.
It supplies equipment and machinery to the infrastructure, mining, forestry, transport and power systems industries, and has had the Caterpillar dealership in New Zealand for 80 years.
The group employs 880 staff in New Zealand and Australia.
Asked whether he might take a higher-level executive role, Gough said that it was business as usual at present.
"We have got an excellent management team in place. We have an excellent board ...
"This doesn't signal any change from an operational perspective."
The Gough group is headquartered in Christchurch. It includes Gough TWL, Gough Transpecs, Gough Palfinger, Gough Materials Handling, Gough Engineering, Gough Transport Solutions and Gough Finance.
Gough set up a property investment company in 2000, Tailorspace. Its three buildings were significantly damaged in the quakes.
Murray and Co House in Victoria St is now being demolished. The future of the Public Trust building on Oxford Terrace and BNZ Tower on Armagh St across from New Regent St were yet to be decided.
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