AM Online

Glenvarigill ready for MBO

Glenvarigill has sold its Audi businesses in Stirling and Edinburgh to Lomond Motors, operator of the vast Glasgow Audi dealership.

Now the remains of the group is being considered for a management buyout, its second in four years.

The Scottish retailer, founded in 1966, has undertaken a major programme of downsizing in the last four years since a management buyout from Drambuie, the distiller. Since 2002 it has sold or closed dealerships representing Renault, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Bentley, Seat, TVR and ChryslerJeep.

Now AM understands a second management buyout is being considered for part of its remaining business. However, details are unclear as Glenvarigill’s finance director Kevin Lamb has not returned AM’s calls.

In the 2002 AM100 listing, Glenvarigill was ranked number 48 with £137m turnover and 21 outlets. Now it has just two Peugeot, one Volkswagen and two Honda outlets, with turnover estimated to be less than £75m, putting it outside the AM100.

The downsizing has prompted speculation that it may be absorbed by another dealer group in the near future. Earlier this year McRae & Dick, an AM100 dealer based in the Highlands, was linked with a takeover bid.

However, sources close to its management now say it never intended to buy the whole group, but was interested in the Honda outlets only. It already represents Honda in Inverness.

A Honda spokesman says it is “reviewing the situation” with Glenvarigill as the dealer group is in the process of another management buyout. It is looking at the management structure and the implications that an MBO would have.

Peugeot and Volkswagen declined to comment when asked whether their relationship with Glenvarigill will continue.

With the Lomond Motors acquisition, Stirling Audi has moved into a new dealership. Edinburgh Audi will continue to trade from its existing premises until a new showroom is built.

All their employees have transferred to Lomond Motors, and no redundancies are envisaged.

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