Arnold Clark motorstore Leeds used cars car supermarketArnold Clark motorstore Leeds used cars car supermarket


Updated: Arnold Clark and WJ King deny talks of a deal after leaked memo suggested sale was coming

  • Rumours suggested automotive retail giant Arnold Clark was set to buy WJ King
  • Leaked memo said WJ King was due to change hands
  • However both parties have now denied the rumours when contacted by Car Dealer

Time 11:22 am, May 14, 2024

Dealer groups Arnold Clark and WJ King have denied they are in takeover talks following a leaked memo that appeared to suggest a sale was in the offing.

Car Dealer reported earlier today that the Top 100 number one group had appeared to have agreed a deal with the independent dealer for an undisclosed sum.

Car Dealer was sent a supposed leaked memo, purporting to be from inside the company, which appeared to suggest a deal had been done.

The incredibly detailed memo – which looked like it had been sent by boss William King to staff – claimed a deal would be completed by the middle of the fourth quarter, with sites set to be rebranded towards the end of 2025.

However, both companies have now returned calls and emails from Car Dealer to claim the rumours are ‘untrue’.

Arnold Clark CEO Eddie Hawthorne said it was the ‘first he had heard’ of any takeover.

A spokesman for his business added: ‘We have no plans for an acquisition of WJ King.’

The internal memo appeared to say the deal would see several changes made to the existing WJ King network with at least one dealership set to close. However, WJ King have now said the contents of the email are ‘categorically untrue’ and none of the changes mentioned are set to take place.

The email, which looked like it had been sent to all staff, said an official announcement would be made on Friday afternoon (May 17).

WJ King did not respond to Car Dealer’s initial requests for a comment this morning.

The leaked email suggested large changes to WJ King’s business would take place as a result of the deal with Arnold Clark including some dealerships changing which brands they represented and even some closing. Again, the company has said these rumours are unfounded.

Car Dealer offered WJ King the opportunity to comment further, but the firm declined.

Story initially published at 11.22; Updated at 12.01; 13:36; 13:44

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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