BOSSES at Benfield Motor Group have spoken about the process leading up to yesterday’s announcement that the company has been successfully acquired by Lookers plc.
Family-owned Benfield was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1957 by John Squires senior and developed by John Squires junior, the outgoing main board chairman.
Benfield has grown to become one of the UK’s top privately-run businesses and was recently voted ‘Motor Dealer Group of the Year’ and entered the Sunday Times Top 100 listings for the first time.
With an annual turnover of nearly £700 million, employing over 1,600 people and 30 dealerships across the north-east of England, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Scotland, the Benfield brand and its customer service reputation is arguably one of the most highly regarded in the motor trade.
Mark Squires, Benfield’s outgoing chief executive, said: ‘This was a very difficult decision for our family to reach after all these years and so much company history.
‘However, after much careful thought and consideration, we think this is the best course for the business and for the long-term future of our staff and customers to become part of a national group.
‘I’m pleased to confirm staff jobs will be safeguarded and Lookers plc certainly enjoy the scale, capabilities and access to financial capital that is required to win and secure the business in the decades ahead.
‘Lookers are a first class company and have demonstrated their strength and depth as one of the leading motor groups in the country. In Benfield they are acquiring a fantastic business with a great culture and customer service ethic and as a family business we are proud of what we have achieved.
‘We are grateful to everyone who works for Benfield and to each and every one of them for their contribution to our success over many years.’
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