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Debts cut as Glenvarigill sells premium car outlets to Sytner

Glenvarigill has slashed its debts by selling four prestige sector dealerships to Sytner Group, leaving it in a stronger position to expand its remaining businesses.

The Porsche outlets in Glasgow and Edinburgh and Ferrari and Maserati in Edinburgh were sold to Sytner for an undisclosed amount. Glenvarigill, which sold two Renault and one Honda outlet earlier this year, says the revenue will help strengthen its balance sheet.

The AM-listed group (No 57 in June) self-styled as a “premium motor group” will now concentrate on the five-year plan agreed with key stakeholder Bank of Scotland during the 2002 management buyout for its remaining operations, which comprise two Audi, one VW, two Honda and three Peugeot dealerships. It also retains TVR in Edinburgh.

“We can now focus on the development of our Audi, VW and Honda dealerships,” says Tim Bartlett, Glenvarigill managing director. “At this stage we have significant expansion plans already in place for Audi with an additional dealership in Edinburgh due to open in the autumn, and a further dealership in Stirling planned for 2005.”

Expansion of the VW and Honda operations is a longer term goal, he adds. Bartlett says the deal will cut Glenvarigill’s £30m debt by 75% and leave it with a much stronger business with a turnover of £80m. Profitability has grown by 20% and year-on-year sales are up 23% in the remaining businesses.

Sytner now has majority coverage for Porsche and complete coverage for Ferrari/Maserati in Scotland. The group, which says the deal will add £80m to turnover, taking it to £1.1bn, is also in final talks with Bentley to be awarded a franchise in Edinburgh, which would take its Scottish representation to three.

Sytner franchise director Richard Wynn-Jones says all staff at the purchased sites will be retained. “This allows us to keep the right people in the right jobs and enhances the customer service across the group.”

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