Pearlglass, the new company running Perry Group's former motor division, believes it can outperform the plc. Paul Millard, Pearlglass joint managing director, said: “We have acquired the retail side while the market has bottomed out – the only way forward is up.
“It is easier for a private company to make acceptable returns rather than having to satisfy shareholders. We can react quicker to changes in the marketplace than a plc.” The MBO team gained financial backing from Bank of Scotland and Capital Bank to pay £25.9m for the motor division, which had a £236.2m turnover in 1999 (the last published results). The operating profit was £2.8m.
Perry warned that last year's results, due to be released later this month, would be “significantly below that of the previous year”.
Hertford-based Pearlglass was formed by Mr Millard, Perry's former motor division managing director, and ex-finance director Ken Savage. They become joint managing directors. The deal leaves Perry Group with the Nationwide Crash Repair Centres and parts distribution business.
Mr Millard, a former HMG operations director, spent the past 12 months helping Perry – No21 in the AM100 – to divest its poor performing businesses. The contract hire division was sold for £1.3m in December to First National Vehicle Contracts.
“We have bought a good company that is generally lean, mean and performing quite well in a difficult marketplace,” said Mr Millard.
“We will need to undergo a period of consolidation while the industry settles down to ensure we have the platform to take the business forward.
“Then we will look to expand in the right areas – we won't miss any opportunity to look at businesses that become available.”
Pearlglass will trade as Perry Motor Sales. It has 28 franchised points and seven satellites at 22 locations, representing 14 manufacturers. Dealerships will keep their trading names.
“All manufacturers represented have expressed ongoing support and this, together with our committed workforce, will ensure a successful future,” said Mr Millard.
The deal is expected to be ratified by shareholders at Perry Group's EGM on March 26.
##Pearlglass--none--Ken Savage and Paul Millard##