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Eastern Western Motor Group buys BMW and Mini dealer Grassicks Garages

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Eastern Holdings Limited has acquired BMW and Mini dealer Grassicks Garages Ltd through its subsidiary Eastern Western Motor Group.

The share capital purchase sees Eastern Western increase its representation of the two brands to two centres each. It now represents 12 franchise brands at more than 25 locations within an hour’s drive of Edinburgh.

Grassicks Garage Limited started trading in 1922 and was awarded the BMW franchise in 1971. The business has been privately owned by the Grassicks family since inception with a dealership in Perth.

Grassicks was one of the last few independent BMW and Mini businesses in the UK.

Eastern Holdings latest 2016 year end audited accounts showed a turnover of £550 million with a net profit before tax of £9.6m. The acquisition looks to boost turnover by about £30m.

Douglas Brown, Eastern Western Motor Group chairman, said: “This acquisition further cements our relationship with one of our key franchise partners and is in line with our strategy of growing and developing with existing brand partners in new geographical territories.

“We look forward to welcoming all of Grassicks' 60 colleagues into the Group and further developing the Grassicks brand and business in the future. We are also delighted that Colin Grassick will remain as a brand ambassador and he will help us nurture existing relationships within this territory.”

Grassick, Grassick’s Garage Ltd managing director, said: “I look forward to this move protecting the longevity of Grassick’s values in an ever-increasingly competitive market.  I would like to thank my loyal staff, who will continue to look after our customers to the high level of customer care we have always strived to offer.  I wish the new owners every success.”

David Kendrick, partner at UHY Hacker Young which advised the shareholders of Grassicks with the sale, said: “With the increasing pressures on volumes it is becoming harder and harder for the single site operators within the premium brands to compete.

“The Grassicks business has been a fantastic partner for BMW since 1971.

“However, with no succession in the business the obvious choice for the shareholders was to dispose of the dealerships to another larger operator.”

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