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Bramall & Jones selling VW outlets

Bramall & Jones has found a buyer for its Volkswagen dealerships in Lincoln and Boston. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Tony Bramall, co-owner, said: “Discussions over the Volkswagen sites continue but we will retain our Audi centres at Boston, Derby, Grimsby and Lincoln.”

Gilder Group, which has Audi and Volkswagen in Yorkshire, approached Bramall & Jones about buying some of its retail points but the talks foundered.

Peter Williams, Gilder Group finance director, said: “The Bramall & Jones businesses would have made a good fit with ours but the negotiations fell through.

“There was a number of reasons. It was not just a question of money.

Given the economic environment we expect other opportunities to arise, and probably at a better price.”

Bramall said: “We thought we might sell some sites to Gilder but have decided to retain our Audi dealerships.”

Sources suggested Lookers may be the buyer of Boston VW.

In December, Derby VW was sold to Sytner Group.

Bramall, now in his 70s, is in the office each day and visits all the dealerships once a week.

However, managing director Adrian Marvinson now operationally runs the business.

Bramall set up the company in partnership with Peter Jones after the sale of CD Bramall to Pendragon.

He became a non-executive director of Lookers after buying a shareholding, blocking Pendragon’s acquisition bid.

#AM_ART_SPLIT#When Bramall and Jones set up the business, they said their plan was to build a 12 to 15-dealership group in the north-east/Yorkshire and along the M62 corridor.

That is no longer the ambition.

Jones this month moved to Lookers plc, where he is one of three operations directors, but he retains a stake in Bramall & Jones.

“I am glad to have a bigger job,” he said.

At Lookers, he is responsible for franchises in England, including Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Citroën, Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Skoda and Alfa Romeo.

Jones, once an executive at Rover Cars, was at Inchcape for a short time after six years as CEO of CD Bramall plc.

Tony Bramall sold CD Bramall to Pendragon in January 2004.

When CEO Trevor Finn tried to acquire Lookers, Bramall purchased a block of its shares.

He voted against Pendragon’s take-over offer and took a seat on the Lookers board.

At the time, Bramall said he regarded the purchase of £55.7 million worth of shares for 24.4% stake in Lookers as “a very good investment for the family in a well-run group where there is substantial scope for growth”.

Bramall was able to make the move after collecting £76 million from the £230 million Pendragon paid for CD Bramall.

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