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Lookers acquires NI contract hire company

Lookers has acquired Fleet Financial, a Northern Irish contact hire and fleet management company, for an undisclosed sum.

The Mallusk based company will trade as a division of Lookers’ Charles Hurst Group retaining all current directors and staff and continuing to operate under the Fleet Financial brand name.

Fleet Financial, which employs 24 people, currently manages more than 3,000 vehicles and has contracts with Sky, AXA Insurance, Phoenix Gas, Dale Farm and SHS Group. The company also recently became a preferred supplier for C&C Group plc which involves supplying vehicles throughout the UK.

Ken Surgenor, Charles Hurst Group chairman, said: “The expertise of its staff and the quality of its customer offering provide an excellent fit with the Charles Hurst Group profile and perfectly complement our existing business portfolio.
“This move further demonstrates the Charles Hurst Group’s ongoing growth strategy through acquisition and we look forward to Fleet Financial’s seamless integration into our business.”

Philip Miley, sales and marketing director, Fleet Financial, said: “As an independent company we had reached our potential and to lift Fleet Financial onto the next level we needed to form a strategic alliance with a complementary but broader based organisation.

“This acquisition by the Charles Hurst Group will enable us to deliver our growth strategy over the next number of years and will further enhance our service offering and business partnership to our customers through innovative products, improved funding options and strengthened client relationship management.”

The Charles Hurst Group is the largest car retailing operation in Northern Ireland and currently has the largest motor village site in Europe on a site of 20 acres where 16 dealerships are represented.

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