The deal will see Meridian acquire two showrooms and an accident repair centre in Morecambe and Kendal from John Wilding Limited – the deal value is undisclosed.
The business plans to retain all current staff at the dealerships which will initially trade as John Wilding Citroen. Both sites will eventually rebrand to join the business’ ‘Vantage’ family which will involve significant further investment.
The vendor of the business Adrian Wilding is the son of founder John Wilding and he will be leaving the retail motor industry to pursue other interests.
Meridian Motor Group’s managing director Mark Robinson (pictured) said: ‘This latest deal will help cement the group’s position in the North Lancashire and South Lakes region and will enable us to offer greater choice and value to customers in the area. ‘John Wilding is a well respected family-run business with a strong customer base which will be an excellent addition to our network.’
Robinson added: ‘This is also significant in that it marks the start of our relationship with Citroen which is a manufacturer that shares our aspiration for growth and development. Citroen also has a very strong fleet offering and linked to this acquisition, we will be establishing a UK-wide fleet services department across all our brands.’
The two dealerships will be expected to sell a combined 1,500 new and used vehicles a year and contribute an additional £15m to group turnover. ‘The acquisition will further develop Meridian’s presence in the region adding to Toyota centres in Grange-over Sands, Preston, Colne and Blackburn and Hyundai dealerships in Stockport, Salford and Oldham.
‘In total the group now has 18 sales points at 16 locations representing Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Honda and now Citroen. Following the acquisition, the group will employ 400 people across northern England and the west midlands.
The news follows the group’s announcement last month it is to build a flagship Hyundai showroom in Stockport.