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Car dealer Lookers adds Land Rover dealership in Hertfordshire

Car dealer group Lookers has acquired Hertfordshire Land Rover dealership, Chipperfield.

Chipperfield, in Kings Langley, had sales of around £26m in the last financial year and won Land Rover UK's 2012 Service Dealer of the Year award.

This latest £10.4m (entire share capital) acquisition by Lookers comes months after it bought another Land Rover premium 4x4 franchise in Glasgow from Shields Automotive in a £9m deal.

Lookers chief operating officer Andy Bruce, who is set to take the CEO post when Peter Jones retires at the end of 2013, said: "The acquisition of Chipperfield is an important development in the group's representation of the Land Rover brand in the South East and complements our existing Land Rover businesses in Battersea and West London.

“Chipperfield is a business for which we have tremendous respect and we are looking forward to welcoming its great team of people to Lookers."

In August, Manchester-based Lookers reported a near 20% leap in profits for the first half of this year, boosted by growth in the UK new car market and a strong performance in its motor division.

Lookers was advised by Pinsent Masons in Manchester and the vendors of Chipperfield were advised by Manchester-based automotive business management specialist ASE Global and Brabners, Manchester.

Stock market analyst Mike Allen said: "The transaction offers a very desirable brand in a good location where Lookers already has some brand representation in the area. The business itself appears to be making robust margins already, but we think Lookers should be able to fully utilise the used car potential of this brand over the coming months and years.

"Our target price remains unchanged at 140p as we were anticipating further M&A transaction, but with 17% upside following some share price weakness, we switch our recommendation from buy to hold."

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