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Vertu Motors completes £4m Vantage Kia and Honda acquisitions

Vertu Motors' Kia dealership in Bradford

Vertu Motors completed the £4 million acquisition of the Kia Bradford and Honda Bradford business from the Vantage Motor Group.

Coming less than three months after Vantage was acquired in a management buy-out, the transaction will bring Vertu’s number of outlets in Yorkshire to 18.

The group has also announced its addition of the Peugeot franchise to its existing dealership complex on Sir Frank Whittle Road, Derby, in a move that will coincide with the closure of Robins & Day's nearby facility.

Commenting on the acquisition from Vantage, in Bradford, Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors plc, said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of the business in Yorkshire and to welcome Kia and Honda colleagues to our Group. It’s great to expand our already successful Vertu Honda business and add our second Kia dealership to Vertu Motors in the last month.

“They fully complement our existing franchises in Bradford and further extend our presence in Yorkshire.” 

Vertu indicated that 2020 could be a year of acquisitions in a trading update issued via the London Stock Exchange today (March 3), in which Forrester stated that “the current pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities is strong”.

Honda and Kia in Bradford adds to Vertu Motors’ representation in Bradford with its established Renault, Dacia, Nissan and Land Rover outlets and follows the recent purchase of four Volkswagen dealerships, located in Leeds, Huddersfield, Harrogate and Skipton from Sytner Group.

Bradford Kia becomes Vertu motors second Kia dealership following the acquisition of Edinburgh Kia in January 2020. The Bradford operation will be branded Vertu Kia.

Vertu said in a statement that colleagues at Bradford Honda and Kia will join the business automatically, ensuring customers are welcomed by familiar faces with valuable Honda and Kia experience and continuity of service.

In a further new dealership development for Vertu, its Bristol Stree Motors division announced that it is adding the Peugeot franchise to its existing dealership complex in Derby, bringing its total number of Peugeot outlets across the UK to six. 

Colleagues and stock from nearby Robins & Day Peugeot, which is closing its vehicle sales and service operations as part of the move, have transferred to the new dealership, which will complement the Group’s existing Nissan, Seat, Dacia, Citroen, Honda, Skoda and Renault outlets in the city.

Forrester said: “This further investment in Derby demonstrates our confidence in the city and its economy.

“I am very pleased to welcome colleagues from Robins & Day to the Group.” 

Back in January Vantage Motor Group published details of a 14.3% decline in profit before tax in a set of 2018 financial results published a month after its acquisition in a management buy-out (MBO).

The Knaresborough-based retail business, which founder Mark Robinson sold to chairman Phil White, finance director Tim Swindin and operations director Andrew Mallory in December, saw pre-tax profits decline to £1.3m as turnover rose 1.6% to £284.7m in the period ended December 31, 2018.

In comments made in the annual report, Swindin said: “Trading has been difficult in 2019 with performance in the first half of the year in particular being below our expectations.

“As a result of this under performance, a number of cost saving actions have been taken. We have also closed two loss making businesses in the third quarter of this year.

“While we anticipate a disappointing result for 2019, the board believes that the actions taken in the second half of the year will put the company in a strong position for 2020.”

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