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Peter Vardy buys first dealership

Peter Vardy, whose father Sir Peter sold Reg Vardy plc to Pendragon three months ago, was this week expecting to acquire his first dealership after gaining experience in the family business.

Sir Peter says: “My son is car mad and learned about motor retailing in my business, and through a spell with Jardine motor group in Hong Kong. He feels as strongly about customer care as I do, and I’m delighted that Vardy Values will live on.

“I’m also pleased that both my sons and my daughter continue to have a strong work ethic.”

Peter Vardy jnr, who is 27, has no ambitions to build a group of 100 outlets and will probably add no more than two or three more outlets over the next year.

The Vardy family received around £150m from the £506m sale of the business to Pendragon in March. The sale contract prevents Sir Peter from re-entering motor retailing for 12 months but, he says: “I have no intention of doing a Tony Bramall next year and buying myself back in to the motor trade.”

Sir Peter says there is no truth in industry speculation that he was preparing to buy John Martin Group or any other motor retail business.

Trevor Finn, chief executive of Pendragon, agreed that Peter Vardy jnr could this year start in motor retailing in a small way.

The Vardy family is also putting £50m into Vardy Venture Capital, which will invest between £500,000 and £2m into new businesses. The funding range was chosen because most start-ups can get support below the lower figure and banks begin to take an interest above £2m.

“There are plenty of people with good business ideas and fire in their bellies who need funding or mentoring,” says Sir Peter.

Paul Edwards, former MD of Bannatyne’s casino division, is financial director.

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