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Vertu Motors gets first Audi franchise with acquisition of SHG Holdings

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Top 10 AM100 group Vertu Motors has extended its premium franchise portfolio with Audi following its acquisition of three dealership group SHG Holdings for £12.8 million.

A further consideration of £1.5m is to be deferred for two years and will be payable under “certain conditions”.

The Hereford based dealer group also operates Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, another franchise first for Vertu.

The acquisition also includes SHG’s two Volkswagen Group parts distribution operations in Gloucester and Hereford and a used car and aftersales facility in South Herefordshire.

For the year ended December 31, 2014 South Hereford Group showed revenues of £77.5.m, EBITDA of £2.0m, profits before tax of £1.5m and net assets of £4.3m.

Vertu expects the acquisition to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership.

Robert Forrester, Vertu chief executive, said: “The introduction of Audi to the group is a further step in the growth of our premium business, following the success of the Farnell acquisition and our subsequent profitable growth with Jaguar Land Rover.

“This is an example of the long term approach we take to investing in the future success of the group.

“SHG is a strong business with a great local heritage, a reputation for excellent customer service and a strong aftersales track record. Volkswagen Commercials will provide synergy opportunities with existing Vertu operations such as Bristol Street Versa, Taxi Centre and Group fleet operations.”

This latest deal brings Vertu’s total network of outlets to 121.

Forrester said the group is continuing to look to acquire more dealerships and to add new manufacturer partners.

The group acquired Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships from Pendragon and Jardine Motors in June this year and also acquired its first Skoda dealership in the same month, acquiring MSB Skoda in Darlington.

Vertu’s latest interim results show pre-tax profits rose 48.8% year-on-year to £12.8m in the six months to August 31.

Half year revenues were up by £246.7m to £1.08 billion, a 29.5% rise.

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