AM Online

Basford group expands

Wirral-based bodyshop group Howard Basford has expanded with the acquisition of Auto & Marine in Formby.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, brings the number of repair centres now operated by Howard Basford to 10, and will boost annual turnover to more than £24 million.

Tracy Howard, chairman of the 4th placed AM50 bodyshop group, said the Formby site fits with the company’s existing presence in the north west of England. It already has sites at Aintree, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port, Mold, Manchester, Stockport, Crewe and two in Warrington.

Auto & Marine was established 30 years ago by its owner, Paul Wren, It has 20 staff. AM understands that Wren hopes the new owner will inject investment necessary to help the business keep pace with repair technology progress.

Howard Basford managing director Neil Kirk 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."

In 2006 Howard Basford acquired two long established accident repair sites in Mold and Manchester.

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