Yorkshire-based car dealer JCT600 has grown by almost a third and become the UK's 10th largest motor retailer with its takeover of a premium brand dealer group.
It has acquired £200m turnover Gilder Group, which has nine sites representing Audi, Volkswagen and Seat in south Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in an eight-figure deal.
The takeover brings JCT600's portfolio up to 50 dealerships and turnover to £850m, which is expected to take it past Greenhous Group into 10th place in the AM100 rankings of UK dealer groups.
JCT600 chief executive John Tordoff told AM he has known Gilder's CEO Garry Scotting for years and had made an agreement that whenever he decided to sell up and retire he would give Tordoff first refusal.
Scotting has retained the three Gilder Honda dealerships, which AM understands will be run by his family.
Tordoff added: “This acquisition is another leap forward for us as a group, strengthening our coverage geographically and adding some more strong dealerships to the group.
“In 2009 we acquired York and Hull Audi from Gilder Group and so we know from that experience that we are buying a business with fantastic staff, loyal customers and high standards of care.
"Garry has built a solid, profitable business since he took control of The Gilder Group in 2002, and one that will dovetail perfectly with our existing operations and give us further economies of scale and increased buying power,” he added.
The nine dealerships that will change hands include; Audi dealerships in Sheffield and Doncaster; Volkswagen dealerships in Sheffield, Chesterfield, Rotherham and Newark; VW Commercial Vehicle dealerships in Sheffield and Newark; and one Seat dealership in Sheffield.
In addition, the business has acquired the Gilder Paint & Body Repair Centre in Sheffield and two TPS (Trade Parts Specialists) businesses in Lincoln and Sheffield.
Scotting said he is retiring from the business but retaining shares in Gilder's remaining operation.
He added: "The acquisition marks an end of an era for me, one of which I am extremely proud. My first interaction with Volkswagen and Audi came in 1980 at Gordon Lamb. After joining Gilders in 1985, I was able to further pursue my career with the brands and when I was given the opportunity of taking control of the group 11 years ago it was a business opportunity not to be missed.”
Continues Scotting: “Over the last 33 years, I’ve worked with some highly talented individuals and made many friends. It’s always been about the people for me and I’d like to thank everyone who has played a role in creating the highly successful business that is The Gilder Group.”
A team from Yorkshire law firm Gordons led by head of corporate James Fawcett advised JCT600.
James Sparling of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Peter Helliwell of HSBC worked closely with JCT600 to provide a funding package to support the acquisition and to refinance the new enlarged group in readiness for future expansion.