Two South East independent livestock agencies have strengthened their ties, with Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson at Penola buying a 50 per cent stake in Mount Gambier based O'Connor and Graney.
Both firms are promising O'Connor and Graney's clients in the Lower SE and western Vic the same level of service but even more marketing options.
TDC director Darren Maney said with one of O'Connor and Graney's partners Neil Quirk approaching retirement and Neil's son Michael leaving the business to join FP Ag in the Adelaide Hills there was an opportunity for TDC to expand its geographical footprint.
"There is no doubt the further south you go the more productive it is (for agriculture) and we have agents in every town from Keith to Lucindale and Kingston and Penola and all the way down," he said.
"It is about building a network with quality people and when we looked down south it was logical that we go with O'Connor and Graney.
"It will be about maintaining what they have and then there will be take steps to use our network to grow this business as times goes on."
Mr Quirk sees the buy-in as a "win-win" allowing him to retire next year but also ensuring a strong future for the company which was the first independent agent in Mount Gambier.
"The big thing for me was to keep operating as O'Connor and Graney the same way it has for 38 years and out of the same office," he said.
Ben Jones and Ethan Bronca will remain partners in O'Connor and Graney.
Mr Jones said they had a "few options" but a "friendly merger" with TDC made a lot of sense.
"I have often referred to TDC as a sister company to us, ever since I started with O and G with Peter (O'Connor), Garry (Graney), Neil (Quirk) and Chas (Wilson-Smith) back at the start we have always had a very close relationship with TDC so when this opportunity came about I was really keen on it," he said.
"It gives us support on a number of different levels, whether it be clerical, whether it be labour on the ground or simply advice or someone to bounce off or real estate capacity."
Mr Jones was also confident it was the "right decision" for their clients.
"We pride ourselves as being a family company and consider our clients as family," he said.
Mr Bronca said the TDC buy-in offered career security. "I am only 32 (years of age) but I now have a career direction for the next 25 years," he said.
O'Connor and Graney is looking for a couple of young trainees to join the business but Mr Bronca said TDC would "relieve a lot of pressure" for them until they could recruit these staff.
TDC will continue to offer livestock in sales at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange and O'Connor & Graney will remain a strong selling agent at the Mount Gambier saleyards
"If we want to drop some livestock up to a sale there (Naracoorte) we can and vice versa but we still need to be loyal to our own selling centre," Mr Jones said.
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