Marshall chief executive Daksh Gupta called Car Dealer exclusively last night with news of the deal.
In his 53rd day in charge of Marshall, he announced the group had snapped up the Hull, York and Scarborough sites from administrators.
‘In 2007, deVries turned over £38m with a profit of £750,000 – that’s a two per cent return on sales,’ an excited Gupta told us.
‘That’s a good business by anyone’s standards and Scarborough was number one in customer satisfaction tables.
‘This is really big news for us and shows we are committed to growing outside of what is seen as a regional group in East Anglia to something much bigger.
‘Marshall is all about sustainable growth and as a company we have zero debt. There aren’t many dealers out there at the moment that can claim that.’
Clearly, the deVries deal had buoyed Gupta and he made the announcement to Car Dealer before any other trade publication.
‘In 2007 the deVries sites sold some 2,600 cars – we are very excited and passionate about taking on the Honda franchises,’ he added.
The announcement comes the day after new car sales figures showed a 30 per cent drop in registrations in January and at a time when many dealers are shrinking.
‘We are a focussed team here at Marshall and are excited about the future,’ said Gupta. ‘It’s very important to keep the team up and motivated in these tough times and with acquisitions like this that will only happen.’
The new businesses will report to Franchise Director Mark Furniss who, like Gupta, has recently joined Marshall following the group’s decision to move from its historic regional structure to a franchise-centric organisation.
As part of this acquisition, all deVries staff working for the Honda franchised dealerships in York, Scarborough and Hull will transfer to Marshall.
Marshall has also undertaken to ensure that no customers, who have paid deposits on cars prior to the collapse of the business, are disadvantaged by the acquisition of the business.
Grant Thornton Leeds were appointed administrators of deVries on January 13. They said at the time they were looking to sell the group as going concerns.