Dubai-based conglomerate AW Rostamani has made its first acquisition in the UK, taking a majority stake in Brayleys Motor Group, whose franchises include Honda, Kia, Mazda and Renault/Dacia.
Founder and managing director Paul Brayley hopes the investment in his family-run business will help it deliver organic growth in the future.
Khalid Al Rostamani, vice chairman of AW Rostamani said: “The acquisition of a majority stake in Brayleys is underlined by our strategy to expand and build our business in the UK, a key automotive market.
"We have been assessing various options for investments and identified Brayleys as a perfect fit to our vision. We will continue to explore new opportunities to help enhance our presence in the UK and also focus on leveraging significant growth opportunities with Brayleys.”
Brayleys had grown rapidly in recent years, since beginning in 2003 with a single Honda business in St Albans.
Through adding new franchises and bolt-on acquisitions since 2012 it took its annual sales from £46 million to around £120 million.last year, from 10 dealerships.
AW Rostamani will lend its expertise and vision to chart robust growth for the company, said the company. Brayley will continue to run the business in his current role alongside his existing management team, supported by two senior executives of AW Rostamani, who have joined the board.
The sale was brokered by David Kendrick and Paul Daly, partners at UHY Hacker Young,
With annual revenues in excess of $2billion, AW Rostamani operates in a number of industry sectors across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its flagship subsidiary, AWR Arabian Automobiles, is the exclusive distributor for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault in Dubai and Northern Emirates, totalling 21 showrooms and 16 service centres.
The company’s acquisition of a majority shareholding in Brayleys represents its first investment in the UK motor retail sector.
Brayley said: “As a family-run business like Brayleys, AW Rostamani understood our customer service-led culture and principle values perfectly, so we are delighted that such a highly successful and internationally respected business has chosen Brayleys as its first automotive investment in the UK.
"We’re excited at the prospect of building our network further in the years ahead with existing franchise partners, as well as exploring potential new manufacturer opportunities, not to mention the enhancement of career development potential for our team of almost 250 staff.”
Paul Daly at UHY said: “AW Rostamani represent the latest international investor into the UK automotive retail market. Despite the domestic focus and uncertainty caused by Brexit it is clear that the UK remains an attractive prospect underpinned by stable property values, consistent consumer demand and established protective legal framework.
"The Brayley business provides a fantastic platform for them to launch their UK operations and I’m sure the business will now grow and develop further under Paul’s continuing strong leadership.”