UHY automotive team announce two Land Rover deals

We are pleased to announce the completion of two deals in the automotive sector; the sale of TH White Land Rover to Cambria Automobiles and the acquisition of Bury Land Rover to Vertu Motors plc. The deals were brokered by partners from our dedicated automotive team, Paul Daly, David Kendrick and Matt Hodgson.

In the first transaction our team advised the shareholders of TH White Limited on the sale of their Land Rover business in Royal Wootton Bassett to Cambria, the franchised motor retailer, for a total cash consideration of £7.56 million.

The consideration includes £2.25 million for the freehold property, £3 million of goodwill, £0.07 million for the fixed assets, and the remainder for used and demonstrator vehicles, parts stocks and apportionments.

Cambria intends to move the newly-acquired operation to a redeveloped site alongside its existing Jaguar dealership in Swindon. The development will take place over the next two years.

David Kendrick, corporate finance partner in our Manchester office and lead adviser to the transaction and said:

“We have seen a lot of change in the JLR network recently and it was a pleasure to assist the shareholders of TH White with the sale of their Land Rover dealership. The fit for Cambria works very well as they already have Jaguar in that territory and will no doubt build a new facility for both brands moving forward. We continue to see a lot of movement within premium franchises and expect this to continue moving forward.”

In our second Land Rover deal of the day, our automotive team advised on the purchase of Bury Land Rover.  The Lancashire business has been acquired by automotive retailer, Vertu Motors, from a subsidiary of UK-listed car dealership Pendragon PLC for £7.0 million of goodwill. The business operates from leasehold premises and last year generated revenue of £41million and EBITDA of £1.5m.

The move sees Vertu develop its growing national portfolio and its representation of Land Rover across the North, operating under its Farnell Land Rover fascia and management structure. The group already operates Land Rover showrooms in Nelson, Bolton and West Yorkshire, under the Farnell name.

Paul Daly, partner in our Manchester office, said: “This acquisition represents a strong Landrover opportunity that Vertu have added to their portfolio enabling them to extend their territory in the North. The team and I were delighted to have advised on the transaction.

This is the 6th automotive deal we have been involved with in the last two months.  Based on these deals and the other transactions we are working on at present, it appears that the high levels of transactional activity are set to continue through 2015. We are seeing a pent-up demand of buyers, enabling dealers looking for an exit path to maximise value with certain businesses changing hands for record breaking sums.”

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, please contact our automotive specialist David Kendrick.