Evans Halshaw Portsmouth, Aug 2023Evans Halshaw Portsmouth, Aug 2023


Pendragon completes £397m sale of dealerships and leasing business to Lithia

  • New era begins as Pendragon transaction with Lithia & Driveway is completed
  • Changes are made to board with appointments and a resignation
  • Dealerships and leasing business to be merged with Jardine Motors, which Lithia bought last March

Time 8:55 am, February 1, 2024

Pendragon has completed the multi-million-pound sale of its dealerships and leasing division to US dealer group Lithia & Driveway.

The UK automotive retailer, which operates the Stratstone and Evans Halshaw dealership chains, announced this morning that the £397m sale was completed yesterday – bang on target.

Today also marks Pendragon’s dealer management software arm Pinewood being hived off to take Pendragon’s place on the London Stock Exchange, with Pendragon renamed Pinewood Technologies Group and led by Bill Berman.

Lithia’s offer of 35.4p per share was backed in October by almost 99% of those shareholders who chose to vote.

The new era sees Lithia’s chief operating officer Chris Holzshu and chief technology officer George Hines appointed to the board.

Meanwhile, Mark Willis has resigned as director and chief financial officer as of today, replaced with immediate effect by Oliver Mann, who was Pendragon’s director of group finance.

Today’s announcement – arranged on behalf of Pendragon by Mann – stated: ‘The board strongly believes that the growth prospects for the company will be enhanced materially as a result of becoming a standalone business, as well as through the strategic partnership with Lithia.’

The buyout – which is expected to generate $4.5bn (circa £3.6bn) in annual revenue – will see Pendragon’s dealer group and leasing business combined with luxury car dealer group Jardine, which Lithia bought last March for £300m, with the new and larger group headed by Neil Williamson.

Williamson, Lithia UK regional president, said: ‘Our investment in Pendragon expands our footprint into Wales and Scotland, while serving to increase our brands, markets, and density in existing locations.

‘This increased footprint, alongside the integration of Pendragon Vehicle Management and migration to a single technology platform with Pinewood, establishes Lithia as a diversified, innovative, and scaled UK presence with significant advantages to peers.

‘We look forward to working with our new talented colleagues and OEM partners in the pursuit of providing transportation solutions wherever, whenever, and however customers desire.’

Bryan DeBoer, Lithia & Driveway president and CEO, said: ‘Today marks the formal completion of our investment in Pinewood and Pendragon.

‘This begins an exciting new chapter in our long-term growth strategy, as we turn our efforts to 2024 and beyond, executing and demonstrating the power of what the Lithia & Driveway ecosystem can and will produce.

‘We look forward to delivering on the significant potential in this new partnership, adding $4.5bn in revenue, entering the fleet management space and welcoming our new colleagues to the Lithia & Driveway family.’

Today’s announcement finally brings the curtain down on what became a tense four-horse race to buy Pendragon’s assets.

Lithia beat a rival offer from Hedin, which teamed up with Sytner owner Penske Automotive to make a joint bid, and saw off an approach by America’s biggest dealer group, AutoNation as well.

Pictured via Google Street View is the Portsmouth branch of Evans Halshaw Vauxhall

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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