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OFT approves JCT600 acquisition of Gilder Group

The Office of Fair Trading has cleared JCT600’s acquisition of Gilder Group following an investigation from the department over competition concerns.

The nine site acquisition of £200m turnover Gilder Group in an eight-figure deal has boosted the JCT600 business by almost a third to become the UK's 12th largest motor retailer.

Gilder held franchises for Audi, Volkswagen and Seat in south Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

John Tordoff, JCT600 chief executive, said: “Although it was no surprise to us or our advisers, it’s nevertheless good news that the regulator has now agreed that the deal did not result in a decrease in competition within the car dealership markets.”

Tordoff said that cooperating with the OFT has hampered the planned integration of the two business and the delay will hit the group’s bottom line.

However, Tordoff said: “We’re glad to be able to put the matter behind us and look to the future.

“We are already actively integrating the former Gilder businesses, and we are now able to again focus on our strategy of seeking new acquisition opportunities to further strengthen the JCT600 group.”

JCT600 announced the acquisition of Sheffield-based Gilder Group from its outgoing chief executive Garry Scotting in March 2013 for an undisclosed eight-figure sum.

The deal included nine of Gilder Group’s car and commercial vehicle dealerships, two parts depots and a body shop, strengthening JCT600’s presence in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It took the business to a total of 47 dealerships and increased JCT600’s workforce from 1,350 to over 1,800 and turnover to £850m.

> The full text of the OFT report here.

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