Vertu swells UK dealer network with £182m Helston Garages deal

Robert Forrester CEO Vertu Motors

“The integration process will commence immediately,” said Vertu Motors CEO Robert Forrester

Addition of 28 showrooms is expected to significantly boost the dealer group’s earnings in 2023

Vertu Motors has acquired Helston Garages Group in a deal worth £182 million, bolstering its ranks by 28 sites to 188 locations.

This “radically enhances” the dealer’s group reach in south-west England, it said in a statement, taking it from four dealers in the region to 32.

The 28 additional showrooms generated some £17.9m in pre-tax profit in the 2021 calendar year. Consequently, Vertu’s earnings per share are expected to see a double-digit percentage increase in the 2023-24 financial year. 

The acquisition adds dealerships from BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, Peugeot, Ferrari and Volvo, with the latter two being new additions to the group. 

All will be rebranded to Vertu Motors and Bristol Street Motors, bar Carrs Ferrari of Exeter, the Italian manufacturer’s only showroom in the region.

Vertu Motors CEO Robert Forrester said: “We’re delighted that Vertu Motors has completed its acquisition of Helston and 28 sales outlets, further evidence of the execution of our long-term strategy to build scale [and] geographic coverage and deepen our relationships with our key automotive manufacturers.

“I have spent much of the last week in the business, have met many highly talented people and [have] visited the impressive and well-invested property estate.

“The integration process will commence immediately and be largely completed by March 2023.”

Helston Garages Group, founded in 1960, has sold off its entire business over the past year.

Yeomans Group recently acquired 12 businesses from Helston, including a mix of Volkswagen Group showrooms: one Audi site, four Skoda sites and four Volkswagen sites (two Passenger Cars, two Commercial Vehicles).

Helston also sold its Porsche dealership in Exeter to Rybrook Holdings earlier this month.

Source: Autocar

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