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Group 1 Automotive acquires Barons dealerships

American-based Group 1 Automotive has expanded its representation with BMW and Mini following its acquisition of two Barons dealerships in Farnborough and Hindhead for an undisclosed sum.

The dealerships will continue to trade under the Barons name.
The two BMW and Mini sites join Group 1’s Chandlers business which has three sites based on the south coast in Hailsham, Brighton and Worthing.

The dealerships are expected to add £108 million in annual revenues to Group 1’s business.

Earl Hesterberg, Group 1’s president and chief executive officer, has previously said that a group of 50 sites would be a good size for the business. However, the Barons acquisition is its first since buying Chandlers and entering the UK market in March 2007.

Hesterberg said: "The acquisition of these two, large BMW/Mini dealerships will more than double the size of our UK operations, significantly increasing Group 1's scale in the UK.

"We have been patiently looking for attractive growth opportunities and are very pleased with this acquisition. The Barons BMW/Mini dealerships are located in the same region as our existing dealerships and, with a strong regional management team already in place, the addition of these stores is an important step in expanding our UK footprint, which will now represent approximately 5% of Group 1's total sales."

Tim Abbott, BMW Group UK managing director, said: “We are delighted that Group 1 has decided to make a further significant investment in the BMW and MINI dealer network and expand its UK operations with us.

“Barons has provided strong representation for both BMW and MINI and we look forward to working with Group 1 in two of our key sales regions.”

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