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US dealer buys into UK

US firm Group 1 Automotive has bought Chandlers Garage Holdings Ltd, comprising three BMW/Mini dealerships in the south east of England.

The six franchises are expected to generate approximately £91.5 million in annual revenues.

The dealerships are in Brighton, Worthing and Hailsham. The dealerships are the longest operating independent BMW franchises in the United Kingdom and will retain the Chandlers name.

Earl J. Hesterberg, Group 1’s president and chief executive officer, said: “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to expand our holdings into a strong demographic area of a proven market, with a powerful global automotive luxury brand.

“The Chandlers brand name has a strong image within the local market and the competent, experienced management team will be a great addition to our company.

“In just the past few years, the BMW and Mini brands have increased their share of the U.K. automotive luxury segment to nearly 25%. Given the pace of consolidation in the U.K. automotive retailing environment, we believe this is an opportune time to diversify our business and open new avenues for growth. Doing this in conjunction with a premier brand such as BMW is a tremendous opportunity for Group 1.”

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