Buyer is found for Seward

Time 3:19 am, March 27, 2012

SCORES of jobs have been safeguarded with the sale of a major car dealership in East Dorset by administrators Smith & Williamson.

Eden (GM) Ltd has acquired the assets and two retail sites of Seward (Wessex) Ltd, where more than 135 people are employed, for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.

The businesses are to be known as Eden Branksome and Eden Christchurch with immediate effect.

Greg Palfrey and Stephen Adshead, from the South Coast office of accountancy group Smith & Williamson, were appointed joint administrators of Seward (Wessex) on February 21 to manage the company’s affairs, business and property after the business ran into financial difficulties.

They successfully traded the firm as a going concern for four weeks while a buyer was found, with sales and servicing continuing as normal.

Palfrey, who heads up Smith & Williamson’s restructuring and recovery services for the regions, said: ‘We always felt confident a buyer would come forward because Seward (Wessex) was a strong brand with many qualities and opportunities.

‘The two motor dealerships at Poole Road, Branksome, Poole, and 20 Bailey Drive, Christchurch, have been transferred to Eden (GM) Ltd, which also acquired the assets.

‘This deal, put together in a tight timeframe, means the jobs of more than 135 people are thankfully safeguarded.

‘I wish to publicly thank the staff at Seward (Wessex) for their outstanding professionalism during what was, understandably, an anxious and uncertain time for their families and themselves.

‘Our decision to wind down two economically unviable sites in Blandford and Grange Road, Christchurch, with the regrettable loss of 46 jobs overall, ensured that the core business of Seward (Wessex) could be saved.

‘We wish Eden Motor Group every success.’

An exciting time

Eden, established in 2008, operates retail centres in Reading, Newbury, Fareham, Exeter and Honiton, as well as a Vauxhall and Ford aftersales centre in Bracknell.

Graeme Potts, managing director and owner of Eden (GM), said: ‘This is an exciting time for Eden and we thank Greg and his team for everything they have done.

‘The colleagues at Eden Motor Group look forward to giving a warm welcome to our new stable of customers and the business community in Dorset.’

Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

More stories...

Server 108