Finance

National transport business Sargent collapses into receivership

Cara Waters /

A national fleet services business with 15 outlets is up for sale after entering into receivership.

STL Holdings, trading as Sargent, was advertised for sale over the Easter holiday period.

The call for expressions of interest follows the appointment of McGrath Nicol as receivers and managers of Sargent. 

Sargent started off with two four wheel drive Land Rovers in 1973 and grew to become one of Australia’s largest specialist national fleet services companies.

It has a fleet of nearly 3000 vehicles to businesses in the mining, infrastructure, construction and oil and gas sectors. 

Sargent’s head office is in Brisbane and its business and assets are listed as including customer relationships through rental and maintenance services.

McGrath Nicol is also advertising Sargent’s vehicle fleet comprising a range of four wheel drives, two wheel drives, trucks, buses and “mine spec” vehicles in Brisbane, Gladstone, Cairns, Mackay, Mt Isa, Blackwater, Roma, Moranbah, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth, Newman, Port Hedland and Adelaide.

Sargent has servicing teams in locations such as Newman, Port Hedland, Dysart, Moranbah and Gladstone. 

Sargent’s website does not give any indications of the business’ troubles.

A spokesperson for McGrath Nicol told SmartCompany the receivers and managers are assessing Sargent’s operations and exploring options to preserve the businesses. 

“These options include a sale of all or part of the group’s operating businesses,” the spokesperson said.

The McGrath Nicol spokesperson declined to comment on Sargent’s turnover or the future for employees.

Businesses reliant on the mining industry are experiencing difficult trading conditions with the end of the mining boom.

Sargent’s receivership follows the collapse of Queensland mining company Xtracan late last year and mining equipment services business Minecorp.

Mining supply companies continue to struggle, according to the latest Projectory Quarterly Survey of Business Expectationswhich surveyed 82 mining suppliers.

Distributors were bleakest in their outlook, with 50% of respondents from distributor companies forecasting weaker conditions in the major projects economy in the December quarter and 67% forecasting weaker conditions in the next 12 months.

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Cara Waters

Cara Waters is the former editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter for the Financial Times' website and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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