Issue: Sep 2017


Biggest sale ever of Australian automotive manufacturing plant and equipment



by Ed Richardson

A decision by Toyota Australia to cease operations is giving Tier manufacturers around the world the opportunity to obtain a wide range of equipment – including fully operational factories.

Toyota, which has been assembling vehicles in Australia since 1963, will cease operations on October 3 – which will mark the end of motor assembly in Australia. As a result the entire contents of the Altona manufacturing plant and those of nine suppliers is being auctioned in the biggest sale of automotive manufacturing equipment in Australia – and one of the largest in the world.

 The Australian factory was the first Toyota plant outside of Japan, and supported an estimated 50,000 direct and downstream jobs in greater Melbourne, which is situated in southeastern Australia. Hilco Industrial and Grays were have been given the mandate to handle the sale due to their experience in the disposal of assembly plants and automotive manufacturing equipment. Founded in 2014, Amsterdam-based Hilco Industrial Acquisitions is one of the world’s largest buyers and sellers industrial assets from both healthy and distressed manufacturing companies. Hilco Industrial Acquisitions has an expanding footprint in Europe, Asia and Australia.

“Hilco has monetized many automotive plants in North America for Ford, Chrysler and GM during the turn down in 2008-2009 as well as automotive plants the UK and on the continent of Europe,” says Robert Bouland, CEO of Hilco Industrial Acquisitions. “The current work with Toyota is clearly tied to Hilco Industrial’s ability to execute and has resulted in this assignment in Australia which includes many of the suppliers to Toyota, including Toyoda Gosei, Continental, Britax Childcare, ROH Automotive, Metalsa Australia, Toyota Boshoku Australia, Chassis Brakes International and Denso Automotive Systems. To learn more about this automobile manufacturing equipment sale a special website has been set up: www.australia-automotive.com or at #australiaautomotive.

The sale is through a combination of private treaty and online auction. According to Hilco, the modern machinery and equipment at the Altona North manufacturing facility was used to produce over 3.4 million Toyota Camry, Toyota Aurion and Toyota Avalon vehicles including Hybrid automobiles since 1994. These vehicles were sold in Australia and exported throughout the Middle East and Asia. Over the past 10 years Toyota has been Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter. The Altona manufacturing plant is made up of seven distinct facilities on a 77-acre site and was once viewed as a marvel of vertical integration in a small market.

Hilco Industrial, a division of the US based financial services company Hilco Global, is disposing of the equipment through a private treaty sale of the equipment in the production plants of Toyota and its nine suppliers. The equipment includes aluminum casting units, furnaces, engine line machining, assembly, robotic automation, presses, extruders, plastic injection molding machines, welding lines and plant services. The Private Treaty sale began in June and is scheduled to run until the facility officially closes on October 3, 2017. VIP applications for inspection under power are available till 1st October 2017.

According to Bouland there has been global interest in the equipment, with enquiries from as far apart as Asia and the United States. “This is an unprecedented sale with machinery and equipment assets that are state of the art and in excellent working condition,” he says. Bouland says the availability of machinery of this caliber is highly unusual as it represents a consolidation of facilities rather than a bankruptcy which often has older automotive manufacturing equipment. The equipment currently available via private treaty sale includes all categories of production from powertrain lines, the press shop, the weld shop equipment, the paint shop surface treatment and heat treatment equipment the resin shop including plastic paint spraying and the assembly equipment.

Online auction

Certain key machinery and equipment items including maintenance workshops and general equipment will be offered for sale via an online auction process. The digital auction will be managed by Grays Online, a JV partner with Hilco Industrial Acquisitions. Once the plant ceases operations in October of 2017 Grays Online will begin a comprehensive online auction of all remaining assets, a process which will continue until the end of February 2018

Hilco Global

Hilco Global is a leading international business to business financial services company which has completed billions of dollars of transactions around the world.

Through 500 professionals operating on five continents and 40 countries, Hilco Global says it helps companies and their professional advisors understand the value of their core assets and then maximize that value through various asset monetization solutions. Hilco Global total asset sales have exceeded US$20 billion since the company’s inception. It has conducted over 1,800 industrial asset disposition projects, and has delivered nearly 20,000 appraisals valuing inventory worth more than US$200 billion. Sales have converted over US$150 billion of surplus inventory into cash.

“Hilco Global is differentiated by our ability to customize any asset disposition solution for the unique requirements of each transaction,” says Gary Epstein, Executive Vice President and CMO at Hilco Global. “Both healthy and distressed companies usually have assets that have unrealized economic potential and we help them monetize that potential”.

In 2014, the North American industrial division of Hilco Global formed a joint venture with Robert Bouland’s company in the Netherlands and launched Hilco Industrial Acquisitions BV, which is headquartered in Amsterdam. Bouland is the CEO of the company.

“Companies, lenders and professional advisors seek out our firm to assist them in assessing the value of their assets and to help maximize that value through a number of monetization/disposition processes that we’ve mastered over the last 30 years,” says Jeffrey B. Hecktman, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Hilco Global.

“It is hard to imagine any asset on the planet that we have not valued over the years. We have an extensive database of asset values combined with a team of industry experts that have deep experience in one or more tangible or intangible asset categories. We offer our clients the most accurate valuation assessment and then work to help them maximize that value. Our ability to benchmark values against both historical and real-time market sales around the world is a real advantage,” he adds.



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