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Just Car to buy Gateway?

Gateway Autos in Manchester has gone into administration, ending months of speculation.

It is about to be bought by a major bodyshop group, believed to be Just Car Clinics. The £4.3m turnover Gateway Autos is ranked 30th in the UK in the 2005 AM50.

Talks with AIM-listed Just Car Clinics are at an advanced stage. Providing these are concluded successfully, the group could take over the lease, assets and staff and re-brand the site as a JCC centre in late September.

Barry Whittles, JCC chief executive, would not confirm the talks, adding that as a plc any acquisition must be announced to the stock market. Nevertheless, he is known to want to add three sites to JCC’s 13-strong network this year.

Gateway owner, Eddie Burke is nearing retirement and has been seeking a buyer for some time. At its height, Gateway Autos was the largest bodyshop in the UK, with its repair centre completing nearly 200 jobs per week. A large proportion of its work was for Direct Line.

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