Steven Eagell Group is poised to acquire seven Toyota dealerships from Jardine Motors Group in a deal which also includes a brace of Lexus sites.
Jardine is expected to sell its franchises – which operate under the Lancaster name – in Chelmsford, Colchester, Rayleigh, Romford, Ipswich, Cambridge and St Ives to the Milton Keynes-based operation.
It will retain its Toyota dealerships in Durham and Wearside as part of the deal, which is expected to be completed later this month, however.
AM understands that meetings to inform staff at the affected dealerships earlier today but representatives from Steven Eagell and Jardine Motors refused to comment.
Steven Eagell has grown his business from a one-site operation 14 years ago to the 12 sites now operated by the group.
In March last year its acquired Marshall Motor Group’s Toyota franchises in Peterborough and King's Lynn and six months later added Lexus to its otherwise exclusively Toyota portfolio with the acquisition of Lexus Hatfield from Lookers Motor Group.
Last year the Steven Eagell business yielded a £144 million turnover (2014: £118 million), with pre-tax profits of £3.5m representing a 2.4% return on sales.
Profitability is on the rise, with 2.7% achieved at the group’s headquarters in Milton Keynes and the Aylesbury operation leading the march with a 3% score.
Speaking to AM last year Steven Eagell managing director, Steven Eagell, told AM that improved profitability and turnover were key targets for the limited company, with a 3% group average and £200 million within its sights, to be achieved through “a combination of organic growth and expansion”.