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Sytner in takeover talks

Sytner Group was today in talks with a company interested in making a take-over bid. The £532m turnover group is the UK's largest dealer group in terms of sales.

Analysts say a buyer would have to pay around £80m for Sytner. They believe Inchcape Group, which paid £22m for Bates Group last year, is a likely bidder.

There is also City speculation that America's £425m turnover UnitedAuto Group might be a contender. UAG has bought two Mercedes-Benz dealerships, at Milton Keynes and Kettering.

Sytner's business has been built on holding franchises for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. Shares in Sytner rose by 29.5p to 271.5p yesterday which led to the group issuing a statement to the stock market about a possible acquisition.

The statement confirmed Sytner was in discussion with an unnamed party. In the year to February 28, 2001, Sytner made pre-tax profits of £6.9m.

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