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Howard Basford adds another site

Howard Basford, the independent accident repair group, has acquired Formby based bodyshop business, Auto & Marine for an undisclosed sum.

The deal brings the number of sites now operated by Howard Basford to 10, excluding its head office and will boost annual turnover to £24 million.

Auto & Marine, on the Formby Business Park, was established 30 years ago by its proprietor, Paul Wren and currently employs 20 staff which will all transfer to Howard Basford.

Neil Kirk, Howard Basford managing director, said: “The insurance market is increasingly looking for the larger bodyshop groups to aid the consolidation of the industry and in so doing, offer simplified procurement arrangements for accident repair services.”

The Formby acquisition follows strong hints about further expansion plans made by Kirk earlier this year when he revealed the company had been talking to a number of bodyshops in the region.

In 2006 Howard Basford acquired two accident repair businesses in Mold, north Wales and Manchester.

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