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Vertu Motors buys Vans Direct in multi-million-pound deal

Vertu Motors buys Vans Direct in multi-million-pound deal

VERTU Motors has bought award-winning online retailer Vans Direct in a multi-million-pound deal.

The automotive retailer paid £7m in cash from its existing resources for the Newport-based van retailing business, which was founded in 1999.

The estimated total consideration for the entire share capital is £7.5m, which includes an arrangement rewarding performance over the next two years and could see up to £2m more paid out.

Vans Direct flourished following the appointments in 2009 of Jane Pocock as managing director and Richard Simmonds as operations director. It has won the Best Van Leasing Broker award from the Leasing Broker Federation for the past three years.

Simmonds will be joining the group along with the team of 42 colleagues, while Pocock will remain a non-executive director.

Vans Direct reported revenues of £34.6m, a gross margin of 11.7 per cent and Ebitda of £1.2m for the year ending October 31, 2017, and the Vertu board said it expected the acquisition to enhance earnings immediately.

Robert Forrester, pictured, chief executive of Vertu Motors, said: ‘This is an exciting development in a growing space, which is synergistic and parallel to our core motor retail business and which strengthens our multi-channel offering.

‘We expect Vans Direct to generate an earnings stream with higher gross and net margins than those typically earned by the group, and we believe that the future growth prospects for this new business are significant. By working with the complementary skills of the Vans Direct team and the group’s existing operations, we believe that we can build a significant business which will meet the needs of a wider range of customers.’

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