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HR Owen drops BMW and Mini

HR Owen has signed a contract to sell its BMW and Mini business to Marsh Wall for a total of £2.8 million in order to proceed with its plans to become a specialist in luxury brands only.

The franchised motor dealer said disposal consists of two BMW and Mini dealerships in Chiswick and Heathrow and aftersales facilities for each. The employees at the Mini and BMW sites will be transferred to Marsh Wall as part of the disposal.

The disposal is conditional upon shareholder approval of the disposal at an extraordinary general meeting, in relation to which a circular will be sent to shareholders shortly. Completion is expected to go though by December 14.

Nicholas Lancaster, chief executive of HR Owen, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of our negotiations.

"The board is confident that the strategy of focusing on a smaller number of higher end specialist and luxury brands has greatly improved the market position and prospects of HR Owen."

HR Owen first announced it wanted to cut its ties with BMW and Mini in September. The dealer group is also still looking to get rid of its two Volvo sites in London too.

Six HR Owen franchises fit in with its luxury focus: Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Rolls-Royce. Lancaster also has faith in Alfa Romeo, having introduced the franchise last year, although this week he said its first year sales have been “slower than expected”.

The buying and selling activities haven't been limited to HR Owen's dealerships. HR owen was approached by a mystery bidder, believed to be Balverona, to acquire the business earlier this month. However, discussions broke down due to a 'changed strategy'.

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