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Pendragon buys Dixon sites

Pendragon has acquired 19 Dixon dealerships from receivers BDO Stoy Hayward for around £17m.

Sources say the dealerships inlude some Citroen and Ford sites.

Most of the sites are leasehold, which means the company will not be able to follow its recent strategy of selling freehold sites into its joint venture property company with Bank of Scotland to raise funds and reduce gearing.

The deal is subject to final completion accounts, although it is believed that Pendragon will temporarily run the business under licence while the process is finalised. Dixon receiver BDO Stoy Hayward does not want to run the business as a going concern.

Trevor Finn, Pendragon chief executive, said: "In April we said that the current market conditions would offer Pendragon opportunities to make attractive acquisitions, and today's announcement is in line with these comments. The dealerships are high quality assets, which strengthens Pendragon's position as the UK's leading car retailer in a consolidating market."

The 19 sites will be rebranded Evans Halshaw.

BDO has also received bids from dealers interested in the five Vauxhall and 12 Nissan dealerships, although dealer sources claim there is a lack of interest in the Peugeot sites. Peugeot has ruled out acquiring any of the five car/LCV dealerships via its wholly-owned Robins & Day group. Dixon also has seven Renault car/LCV dealerships.

BDO is though to want to resolve the Dixon receivership as soon as possible, hence the speed at which the bidding process is operating. Any sites left unsold are expected to close by the end of this month.

  • Read this story in full in the August 10 issue of AM. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.
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