L&L Automotive has acquired Mercedes-Benz Retail Group’s Hemel Hempstead dealership, but the German premium car brand insists it is not part of wider plans to sell-off its UK retail operation.
Hertford-based Mercedes-Benz franchisee L&L takes its franchised retail portfolio to four sites with the brand through the acquisition of the business on London Road, Apsley, adding to its existing sites in Hertford, Stevenage and Bishop’s Stortford.
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Retail Group told AM: "Mercedes-Benz Retail Group has concluded the sale of its Hemel Hempstead site and the business will transfer as a going concern to L&L. This sale falls outside of the ongoing assessment of potential MBRG divestments."
David Presley, the retailer’s brand director, took to LinkedIn to celebrate L&L’s new addition.
“I am pleased to announce the purchase of Mercedes-Benz of Hemel Hempstead which covers St Albans, Harpenden, and up to Luton,” he said.
“Hemel Hempstead will be in addition to the current three sites we have in Hertford, Bishop's Stortford and Stevenage.
“I would like to say a big thank you to David Kendrick, Paul Daly UHY, Tom Poynton, the team at Knight Frank, and Mark Henry and Emma Bysouth at Birkett's for all their support in getting the acquisition over the line.
“I am pleased to welcome Simon Eggs to the group, who has joined L&L Automotive as our Group Acquisition Manager and will take the project on.”
UHY partner David Kendrick told AM: “L & L have been a three-site business for some time but was clewarly waiting fo the right opportunity to come along. This is that opportunity.
“The Hemel Hempstead business is an adjacent territory for L & L’s existing car retail businesses, so it’s a perfect fit.”
Back in May AM reported that Mercedes-Benz had confirmed it was considering the sale of its London-centric, nine-dealership Mercedes-Benz Retail Group car retail operation in the UK.
The German premium car brand confirmed the plan eleven months after a spokesperson insisted that it had no plans to divest of its London-centred retail operation in an interview with AM following the closure of dealerships in Bromley, Caterham and Chelsea.
Its potential shift away from physical retail came as franchisees told AM that the brand had begun consultation on a shift to agency model retail agreements, a move dismissed by a spokesperson as “speculation”.
An official statement issued to AM by Mercedes-Benz stated: “Mercedes-Benz has refocused its strategy and taken action on structural costs, targeting strong and sustained profitability.
“As a result, the company is transforming its own retail business for Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans and is therefore assessing a potential divestment of Mercedes-Benz Retail Group in the UK.
“In the search for buyers, high priority is placed on their long-term economic success and the continuation of the Mercedes-Benz operations.
“In doing so, we are fulfilling our social responsibility to safeguard jobs and ensure the best possible support for our customers.”