AUTOMOTIVE retail group Marshall Motor Holdings today announced plans to sell its leasing segment to Belfast-based N.I.I.B. Group Ltd in a deal worth £42.5m.
The financial leasing group, which trades as Northridge Finance, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Ireland, and the sale of Marshall Leasing Ltd (MLL) will need regulatory approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Daksh Gupta, pictured, chief executive of Marshall Motor Holdings, said: ‘The strategic disposal of our leasing business is an important step for Marshall Motor Holdings. It further strengthens our financial position and allows us to remain focused on driving our core retail operations.
‘In a changing and consolidating retail landscape, we see various exciting opportunities ahead which, with the support of our brand partners, we are now even better positioned to exploit.
‘MLL has been an important part of our group for many years. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank all my leasing colleagues for their significant support and contribution over this period and wish them well for the exciting times ahead under new ownership.’
Marshall Leasing has been part of the group since 1979, when it was formed, and its sale will help the group cut its debt levels, which were reported to be £101.1m as of the end of June this year.
In a statement, Marshall Motor Holdings said: ‘Eight of the top 10 UK motor leasing businesses are owned by financial institutions or vehicle manufacturers. The board therefore believes that the future growth of Marshall Leasing is better supported under different ownership and is pleased to have agreed a sale of MLL to the Bank of Ireland.
‘After completion of the disposal, the group will be focused exclusively on its UK motor retail operations, a segment which the board believes continues to offer attractive opportunities for future growth.’
In November 2016, Marshall Leasing was named Fleet Service Company of the Year by the Association of Car Fleet Operators – an award that it also won in 2010 and 2013.
Marshall Motor Holdings’ other principal activities are the sale and repair of new and used vehicles through Marshall Motor Group, which has 104 franchises covering 24 brands and operating from 90 locations across 26 counties in England. The group also operates five trade parts specialists, five used car centres, five standalone body shops and one pre-delivery inspection centre.
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