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Halfords to acquire Universal Tyre and Autocentres

Halfords has agreed to buy South East motoring services provider Universal Tyre and Autocentres for £15m.

The acquisition will expand Halfords’ garage network to 374 sites, plus expand its fleet of mobile service vehicles to 185 commercial vans and 136 Halfords Mobile Expert vans.

Following the acquisitions of McConechy’s and Tyres on the Drive in 2019, this latest deal takes Halfords closer to its goal of having more than 550 garages in the UK.

Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive officer, said: “We have a clearly stated strategy of building a market-leading Motoring Services offer, and the acquisition of Universal is another important step forward in helping us to achieve that goal.

“We continue to see strong demand for our Autocentres, for our expanding fleet of Halfords Mobile Expert vans, and for our growing commercial business. Universal will help us to meet that demand whilst also expanding our geographic footprint in a market for which we see significant potential.”

Universal specialises in tyre services, including the supply and fit of tyres for a wide range of vehicles, from cars to commercial and agricultural vehicles, as well as providing general car maintenance and repairs such as brakes, servicing and MOT.

Approximately £9m of the purchase price relates to the acquisition of real-estate and the net cash position of the business, with the remaining £6m paying for the underlying trading business. Halfords intend to sell and lease back the property within the next few months.

Halfords revealed in 2019 it aims to become the "go-to provider" for servicing of electric cars and bikes.

It has since been restructuring the Autocentres network to increase its profitability.



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