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Dealer acquisitions ramp up ahead of September and BER 2013

Business handshake

Several dealer groups have snapped up new sites ahead of the September plate-change and as the 2013 block exemption deadline looms.

Lookers has purchased the Seat and Skoda business in Manchester from the Hobin Group, whilst Arnold Clark have acquired the Volkswagen dealerships in Glasgow and Wishaw from the Verve Motor Group. Both deals were put together through ASE’s Dealermatch.

ASE believes consolidation in the market looks set to continue as new 2013 block exemption regulations will give manufacturers more powers to block sales.

Vertu Motors is continuing to acquire businesses, most recently purchasing two Ford dealerships from Holiways Ford Group.

David Kendrick, ASE transaction manager, said: "We are seeing a lot of activity at present with two more deals set to complete before September.

"I would expect this to continue as dealers looks to sell before the block exemption changes come in next year which will make value harder to drive in the deal.

"There are a significant number of very active buyers out in the market at present, paying fair value for businesses. Existing dealers should ensure that they have a viable strategy moving forward, if not it may be prudent to explore an exit."

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