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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rush to Sell John Deere Construction Equipment Unit

My San Antonio

Rush Enterprises Inc. said Friday it had agreed to sell its John Deere construction equipment business to Doggett Heavy Machinery Services for about $37 million.

That construction equipment division comprised about 5 percent of Rush’s business, and the company had not succeeded in expanding it with other purchases to desired levels, said W.M. “Rusty” Rush, the New Braunfels-based company’s president and CEO.

Rush owns the largest network of truck and commercial vehicle dealerships in the country.

It acquired the John Deere construction equipment outlet in Houston more than 12 years ago. Rush Equipment centers in Houston and Beaumont will be sold as part of the deal announced Friday. Rusty Rush said both are expected to remain open under the Doggett name.

Officials at Doggett could not be reached for comment. Its website said it is one of the newest John Deere dealerships in North America with four locations in South Texas. Rusty Rush said Doggett also serves customers in Louisiana.He said Rush is prohibited from re-entering the construction equipment market in Southeast Texas for several years but looks forward to re-entering the segment with another equipment manufacturer or in another area.

Rush also said the company is working on expanding an 11-unit truck dealership it acquired earlier this year from Lake City Cos. LLC. That gave the company outlets in Utah, Idaho and Oregon.