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Bramall buys PDS distribution arm from Nationwide

Nationwide, the UK's leading bodyhop network, says the Borehamwood, Herts-based, operation, which retails Ford parts to franchised dealers, turns over more than £20m and employs 170 staff, no longer fits into its business structure following the sale of the Perry motor division in 2001. PDS offers major cost-savings on parts supply through its huge purchasing power.

Nationwide, which has 62 outlets, was purchased by venture capitalists Guinness Peat Group and JO Hambro last year. Michael Wilmshurst, Nationwide chief executive, says: "PDS had become isolated from our core business so this move was best for all parties. CD Bramall will be retaining all staff as part of the deal."

He adds that development plans for the bodyshop division are "progressing well" as the company looks to improve efficiencies.

CD Bramall, No 2 in the AM100 with a turnover of £1.5bn, has some 30 Ford franchises. It expects to exploit synergies between the two businesses and reduce costs in a bid to boost profit margins.

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