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EMH buys Powles Bentley sites

European Motor Holdings (EMH), No 17 in the AM100, has acquired the two Michael Powles Bentley dealerships in a £5.2m deal.

The payment includes £4.1m goodwill for the company that opened the largest Bentley dealership in Europe on the outskirts of Leicester in February (AM Jan 14). Michael Powles’ other dealership is in Norwich, wholly owned by a subsidiary.

EMH, which recently denied it was the subject of acquisitive interest itself, already owns a Bentley showroom in Newcastle, opened in March 2004.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, EMH says: “The acquisition of Powles will allow the EMH group to expand its Bentley operations into the East Midlands and East Anglia. The enlarged Bentley operations will also be able to capitalise on the introduction of the Continental Flying Spur four-door saloon which will be launched in June 2005, together with other new models planned by Bentley over the next two years.”

Bentley’s UK sales leapt 638% last year to 1,993 units on the back of the Continental GT.

EMH turned over £541m in 2004. It has 11 franchises in 37 dealerships located primarily in the north-east and north-west but with some sites in London, Swindon and Gloucestershire.

Michael Powles made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m in 2004, after making a £77,000 loss in 2003.

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