Group 1 Automotive UK has acquired its first Mercedes-Benz and Smart businesses as it steadily expands its territory up the East of England.
It adds £180 million turnover with the purchase from Robinsons Motor Group of the Mercedes dealerships in Peterborough, King’s Lynn, Norwich, Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds.
Grant Thornton, which advised Robinsons, said they will add strong profitability to Group 1’s growing portfolio, which already includes other premium brands BMW/Mini, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover.
Group 1 also confirmed that Darren Guiver (pictured), who was deputy managing director of the UK operation since it acquired his Spire Automotive dealer group in 2016, has been promoted to managing director, and will report to US-based Group 1 Automotive president and chief executive Earl Hesterberg.
Robinsons, under the leadership of Martin Wallace, will continue to operate its Audi, Citroen and VW Group portfolio across East Anglia.
Wallace said: “We felt it was the right time strategically to take the opportunity to return some value to shareholders and at the same time release management resource to further leverage the performance of our existing businesses and brand relationships.”
He added that Robinsons is now positioned to exploit other sector opportunities.
Paul Burrows, head of downstream automotive at Grant Thornton, said: “We are thrilled to have been tasked with this transaction and believe it achieves many goals for all parties. Both Robinsons and Group 1 are high quality businesses delivering great performance for their respective brand partners.”
Hesterberg said: “We are delighted to represent the Mercedes-Benz brand in the UK. Robinsons Autostar is a high quality business serving East Anglia and complements our strength in that region.”