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Car supermarket Carcraft in management buyout

Car supermarket group Carcraft has been bought from the McKee brothers in a management buyout.

Robin Bridge, its chief executive, has led the MBO with support from Apollo Ventures.

Darren McKee said: "Noel and I have not been actively involved in the running of Carcraft for the last five years as it had become non-core to the family’s interests and this was constraining its ability to realise its full potential.

"The last five years also coincided with the demise of the funding industry’s ability to lend to consumers.

“We are delighted to pass the baton on to Robin Bridge and his team. Robin, who has been with the company for 16 years, has the knowledge and skills needed to progress further.

"He has been in the driving seat and treated the business as his own and we felt the time was right to allow him and his team to fulfil a management buyout. We are also pleased that consumer lending is rapidly improving and this bodes well for the Carcraft model".

In 1998 the McKee brothers bought the business in a £50m MBO from their father, who had established it in 1951, and under their ownership it has grown from a single-site operation to an eleven-site national organisation turning over £3.2BN and returning £198M EBITDA, said Carcraft's statement.

At Companies House, 2012 accounts (the most recent available) for CC Automotive Group, which trades as Carcraft, show turnover of £124.5m and an operating loss of £6.7m. 

The McKee brothers have diverse business interests including property, finance and other automotive.

They founded WeBuyAnyCar and subsequently sold it to BCA.

Robin Bridge said “We have a very loyal and hardworking team and availability for consumer credit has almost doubled since its low point in the recession. The McKee brothers have left us with a fantastic legacy and one which my team and I are relishing the opportunity to build on in the coming years".

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