The significance of prestige brands for the Ryland Group continues to grow, says its chairman Peter Whale as he announced the acquisition of two dealerships for a total cost of £2.6m.
The group has bought the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Newcastle upon Tyne from Cragside Limited for £1.5m (including £800,000 of goodwill) in cash. In the year ended December 31, 2000, the business reported profits before tax of £500,000.
This acquisition is the first stage in the development of the group's new Mercedes-Benz market territory, granted as part of the manufacturer's reorganisation of its UK dealer network.
The second acquisition is the Volvo dealership in Liverpool from Drayton Motors (Liverpool) Limited for £1.1m, again paid in cash. In the year ended November 30, 2000 the business reported losses before tax of £100,000. At the same time, the group has also started trading as Volvo dealers in Chester and Warrington, alongside existing Ryland Jaguar dealerships.
Mr Whale said: “The reorientation of the group towards a luxury and specialist car retailer is proceeding at a pace. Disposals of non core businesses are ahead of our plans and these significant acquisitions confirm our position as the exclusive Mercedes-Benz partner in the North East of England and offer significant growth opportunities with Premier Automotive Group companies in the North-west.”