UHY’s automotive team advise Vertu in acquisition of Greenoaks

Vertu Motors has announced its acquisition of Sigma Holdings Limited and Greenoaks (Maidenhead) Limited, giving it Mercedes-Benz representation for the first time. Vertu were advised by Paul Daly from UHY Hacker Young’s automotive team.

The automotive retailer, which has a network of 126 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, announced that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Sigma Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Greenoaks (Maidenhead) Limited (together “Greenoaks”) for a total cash consideration of £21.9m. In addition to the purchase of the share capital of Greenoaks, vendor shareholder loans of £9m have been settled in cash on completion by Vertu. The deal included £13m of goodwill.

Greenoaks operates the Mercedes-Benz outlets in Reading, Ascot and Slough, with the Reading and Ascot outlets also representing the smart franchise and Ascot being an AMG performance centre. Greenoaks has represented Mercedes-Benz for over 30 years.

The acquisition introduces Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes AMG and smart to the Group, further progressing its strategic goal of growing the premium mix within the Group. Each of the dealership freeholds is owned by Greenoaks which will add further to the strong freehold backing of the Group’s balance sheet. The total cash consideration of £21.9m includes initial consideration of approximately £18.4m and has been settled from the Group’s existing cash resources and borrowing facilities. A further £3.5m is deferred for twelve months. The transaction includes goodwill of £13m.

For the year ended 31 December 2015, Greenoaks achieved consolidated revenues of £88m, adjusted* EBITDA of £2.4m, adjusted* PBT of £1.2m and had net assets of £6.2m as at 31 December 2015. The Board expects this acquisition to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership.

Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors said:

“We are delighted to announce the introduction of Mercedes-Benz to the Group, which is a significant further step in the growth of our premium business.”

“The Greenoaks business has operated in the Thames Valley for over 30 years, is well established in this attractive market area and brings three high quality freehold properties which will further strengthen the Group’s asset base.”

“The acquisition will be earnings enhancing from our new financial year and will also provide synergy opportunities with the Group’s fleet and internet-based sales operations.”

Mercedes-Benz UK, commented:

“Mercedes-Benz is delighted to welcome Vertu as a new franchise partner. As a top 5 dealer group, we have been working with Vertu to identify a suitable opportunity that allows them to bring their expertise in retailing to our brand. Having doubled our new car volume in the last five years, Vertu are a strong fit to further support our continued growth strategy”.

Paul Daly, the automotive partner at UHY Hacker Young who advised Vertu on the deal, commented:

“The Greenoaks Mercedes market area is a great acquisition for Vertu, expanding their presence in the Thames Valley with a fantastic new brand partner in Mercedes Benz.  Having recently acquired Audi representation, and already having a significant Jaguar / Land Rover presence, it must surely only be a matter of time before BMW join their premium brand portfolio.”