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JOHANNESBURG - Barloworld, the listed distribution group, is reviewing its options in regard to its troubled Iberia equipment business and is having preliminary discussions with “an interested party” in the business. 

The group added on Friday that it was also continuing to assess the possibility of expanding its Caterpillar dealership footprint in emerging markets, where its mining competencies and capital could be better deployed. But Barloworld said its board had not made any decision regarding any potential transactions and at this early stage there was no certainty that a transaction may occur. 

The Iberian equipment business had recently undergone a restructure in terms of a carefully formulated business improvement plan that was focused on several areas, including a comprehensive network review and a cost review. It said this resulted in a further reduction in headcount in line with forecast activity levels. The group said the business improvement plan was expected to improve profitability in the business over the coming periods.