The Manchester-based group, currently ranked 15 in the AM100 with a turnover of £556m, has been quietly restructuring under Fred Maguire, chief executive. Allan Marston, Lookers finance director, said acquiring the Kass business would provide the company with “an enlarged base for future growth in the South-east”. Until now it has had a limited presence in the region with Rover and Land Rover in Essex.
Mark Kass, who now joins the Lookers operational board, predicted “they are going to be serious players”. He said he sold his group of five dealerships because he did not have the resources to fund the expansion necessary to survive in the South-east.
“You have to look forward beyond the next three years,” said Mr Kass. “The corner shop will no longer exist. To roll out to the 15 sites you need to get a foothold in the South-east requires cash.”