The Seven Group is getting out of China and looking for acquisitions

A tractor driver in Wuchang, China. Getty.

The Seven Group has sold WesTrac China, its Caterpillar franchise, for $540 million to Lei Shing Hong Machinery Limited.

WesTrac China started in 2001 in the territories of Shanxi, Hebei, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjang, Jilin, Beijing, and Tianjin.

“The sale of WesTrac China will allow us to reallocate capital into other opportunities in Australia, including investment in our WesTrac Australia business,” says Ryan Stokes, Seven’s CEO and son of billionaire chairman Kerry Stokes.

The company is looking for “value accretive acquisitions” in the 2018 financial year.

The business was Seven’s only remaining holding in China.

Seven retains its WesTrac Caterpillar dealership in Australia, a major driver of earnings.

The diversified mining, machinery, energy and media holding company today reported an underlying profit net profit after tax of $187.1 million, a 10% rise. Revenue was 2% higher at $2.28 billion.

After significant items, including Seven’s $128.4 million share of impairments at Seven West Media, reported after tax net profit was down 77.4% to $44.5 million.

The company declared a final dividend of 21 cents, up from 20 cents the year before.

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