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Arnold Clark grows freehold property portfolio with Cazoo site acquisitions

Cazoo Chertsey used car handover centre

Arnold Clark has continued to grow a “healthy freehold property portfolio” with the acquisition of two Cazoo vehicle handover sites.

The AM100 car retailer’s chief executive Eddie Hawthorne confirmed to AM that business had acquired the in sites in Chertsey and Northampton.

“We’ve acquired the sites and will be leasing them back to Cazoo on a 19-year lease,” Hawthorne said.

“We now have about 30 or so sites that we are the landlord of. They are part of a healthy freehold property portfolio that we started to build around 2009.”

Cazoo is currently engaged in consultation with its staff over the closure of 15 customer handover centres and a number of vehicle preparation centres in the UK.

The measures come as part of the online car retailer’s restructuring plans aimed at slashing costs by £200m and follow its withdrawal from various European used car markets.

Last week Cazoo completed the disposal of the used car data insights platform Cazana for an undisclosed sum just over 17 months after acquiring the business for £25 million.

Arnold Clark is growing and diversifying, meanwhile.

After exiting the Ford and Toyota franchises as part of what Hawthorne described as a “refranchising exercise” it is planning to grow its franchise portfolio once again with the addition of BYD in 2023.

The business is also pushing ahead with plans for four new used car remarketing centres following its acquisition of Glasgow’s Central Car Auctions business.

Hawthorne said: “In terms of the plan for the business there is a struggle to get supply – as there is in the whole sector – but with used car values remaining buoyant, it’s still a really good opportunity for us.”

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