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Vertu Motors acquires Blake Holdings

Vertu Motors Property, a subsidiary of Vertu Motors, has acquired Blake Holdings (Blakes) for an estimated £4.9 million.

The Blakes operations include a Vauxhall dealership in Chesterfield, a Vauxhall service centre in Matlock and Peugeot dealerships located in Chesterfield and Worksop.

The newly acquired dealerships will assume the Bristol Street Motors brand name. Vertu acquired the Bristol Street Motors Group in March. The acquisition of the Blakes sites takes the number of outlets in the Vertu Motors group to 39.

Vertu said it would work to ‘drive integration and improvement in margins through the roll out of the Bristol Street brand name, improvement of used car sales to improve the used to new car ratio, further development of the internet retail presence and integration of procurement and marketing into the group’.

In the year ended December 31, 2006, Blakes reported turnover of £59.7 million, with operating profit of £0.4m and profit before taxation of £0.04m. The audited net asset value of Blakes as of December 31, 2006 was £2.3m and has been estimated at £4.4m following the revaluation of three freehold properties.

Robert Forrester, ex-Reg Vardy boss and CEO of Vertu Motors said: "We are pleased to have announced our second acquisition since we listed on AIM in December 2006, as we continue to consolidate the highly fragmented UK motor retail market.

"We continue to look at additional acquisitions and have the management and financial firepower to continue the consolidation process."

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