Lookers buys Jennings as part of ongoing expansion

Time 11:53 am, September 17, 2018

NATIONAL motor retailer Lookers has bought Jennings Motor Group, it was announced today.

Jennings, which is based in the north-east of England, has Ford as its key brand partner but also represents Kia, Seat and Mazda.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, reinforces Lookers’ position as one of the largest motor retailers in the UK and strengthens its position in the region, following the purchase of Benfield with 30 locations almost three years ago. Lookers said it was another show of confidence by itself in the wider UK automotive market and the continued demand for both new and used vehicles.

In a statement issued today, chief executive Andy Bruce, pictured, said: ‘The acquisition of Jennings is a perfect fit for Lookers and is aligned to our business model of operating the right brands in the right locations. We are delighted to expand our key partnership with Ford of Britain, the market-leading brand in the UK. Geographically, the Jennings acquisition joins together our existing Ford market areas in Sunderland and Yorkshire.

‘There is a strong cultural alignment between the two companies. Both place the customer at the heart of the business, offer excellence in customer service and attract and retain the best people in the industry.

‘I would like to welcome all of the great people in Jennings into the Lookers group. We’re proud to have acquired this highly respected business and we aim to help it to accelerate its growth under our ownership.’

Nas Khan, chairman and proprietor of Jennings, said: ‘The sale to Lookers represents the next stage in the evolution of a company which, just over 100 years ago, was one of the first companies in the country appointed by Ford to sell its cars.

‘It is all our employees, past and present, and our customers who have made the business what it is, as well as our excellent relationship with our manufacturers. I am proud to hand over the business in such good shape to Lookers for them to continue with the standards of customer service and care which typifies the Jennings brand.’

David Kendrick, partner at UHY Hacker Young Manchester LLP, who advised Jennings, said: ‘Jennings has been a long-established and very successful group for many years now. The acquisition by Lookers makes complete sense and complements their strong north-east presence, also enhancing their Ford representation.’

Lookers’ group annual turnover in 2017 was £4.7bn, with an adjusted operating profit of £84.7m.

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