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GUS puts finance arm on sale again

Motor finance house General Guarantee is up for sale for the second time in two years. Parent company Great Universal Stores said it wants to concentrate on its core businesses of retailing, information services and e-commerce.

The company tried to sell General Guarantee late in 1998 but failed to find a buyer. Rival motor finance houses say the business does not offer access to new markets and is based largely on independent used car dealers who already use two or three finance houses.

General Guarantee has a network of 50 branch offices and specialises in offering a local service. It tried to break into the franchised dealer market four years ago with little success. The company has a lending book worth around £800m and assets of £1.3bn.

GUS has also put on sale Highway Vehicle Management, its contract hire and leasing company.

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