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Vardy starts to grow

Peter Vardy, the third member of his family to head a motor retailing group, has bought his first dealership.

The chief executive of Peter Vardy Ltd paid an undisclosed amount for a Vauxhall outlet in Perth previously owned by Autovision, which wanted to dispose of it because most of its business is in the north of Scotland.

Vardy is confident of increasing the £8m turnover to £14m and has retained the 30 staff. He is also in the final stages of acquiring a premium brand dealership and wants his business to grow in central Scotland and the north of England. Vardy does not rule out buying specialist dealerships elsewhere.

From January, he will give selected management partners – dealership general managers and senior head office colleagues – a chance to own a share of the growing business.

Vardy wanted to launch his group with a Vauxhall outlet because he ran one for Reg Vardy plc, founded by his grandfather and sold by his father, Sir Peter, to Pendragon for £506m. The Vardy family received about £100m from the sale and has launched a number of enterprises.

Peter Vardy will be supported by his elder brother Richard, who has launched Vardy Property Group. Their father will advance loans to new businesses with potential through Vardy Venture Capital.

Vardy says he has no ambitions to build a group the size of Reg Vardy plc and instead wants to make his company “the very best it could be from the beginning by putting together a team of the best operators in the country”.

Managing director of Peter Vardy Ltd is Jamie Crowther, who ran Reg Vardy’s Mercedes-Benz market area in the west of Scotland.

Finance director is Gary Dreghorn, who was Reg Vardy’s finance controller in the north-east of England.

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