Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) has announced it has acquired French Hitachi dealer Cobemat SAS, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
The acquisition agreed with current owners, Xavier Beaulieu and Joseph Daniel, includes two of its subsidiaries, Cobeloc and MTS, and comes into effect on 1st April 2023. This development signifies the ambitions of HCME to expand its sales and rental network in France, the third largest market in Europe.
Shared aims and values
Cobemat was established in 1995 and has been the authorised Hitachi dealer for north-west France since 2003. The company increased its territory in 2017 and further expanded to include Paris in 2021 – and now represents 50% of the French market. It serves customers in civil engineering, earthmoving, recycling and quarrying sectors, and employs 73 people. Under the new agreement, Cobemat will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of HCME, from its current six locations, including its Rennes headquarters.
The acquisition brings numerous benefits for Cobemat, including the financial support from HCME to help it expand further and the sharing of the expertise of the manufacturer’s extensive workforce. In addition, Cobemat will be able to set up a direct rental and complete after-sales support scheme with its own current service structure.
HCME’s decision to acquire Cobemat is also supported by the fact that the Île de France province is the largest and most challenging market driven by OEMs. Other external influencing trends include upcoming large projects, the high rental penetration ratio, and the chance to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by key accounts. It is also hoped that the French market will help HCME to develop advanced technologies, such as ICT and zero-emission products.
Cobemat shares HCME’s aim to strengthen rental activities and expand the value chain business within its territory. In addition, both companies are keen to focus on the Hitachi-approved programmes on rental and used equipment, Premium Rental and Premium Used.
“Having built an excellent reputation for Hitachi in north-west France over the years, and more recently in Paris, Cobemat is a strong strategic match for HCME,” says HCME President Takaharu Ikeda. “Together with them, we look forward to expanding our existing customer base and service capabilities in France.”
This view was reinforced by Cobemat’s owner Xavier Beaulieu: “We look forward to entering a new phase of our company’s development as a subsidiary of HCME, which has a reputation for quality and reliability. With its support, our company can grow further to become a truly modern dealership and continue to meet the future needs of our customers.”