Pendragon is selling its Jaguar and Land Rover dealership in Santa Monica to Redwood Automotive for some £11.8m, it announced this morning (Dec 15).
If approved by Jaguar Land Rover, it will spell the end of Pendragon’s interests in the USA – a business decision it embarked upon in 2017 as part of a restructuring operation.
It sold its Puente Hills Chevrolet showroom to JBR Automotive Inc at a £700,000 loss in February this year.
The group also sold two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California for £60m in May 2019, and offloaded its sole US-based Aston Martin dealership to US Auto Trust in July 2018 for £3.1m.
Latterly, in September this year, the retail group said it was looking to sell its Los Angeles-based Jaguar Land Rover dealership to Triunity Automotive Group for some £15.8m.
Chief executive Bill Berman, who joined Pendragon in April 2019, told Car Dealer in May this year he would never have sold the US businesses if he’d been in charge.
In an exclusive interview, he said: ‘In 2017, when they announced they were going to close the US operations, I think if I was on the board at that time I would have strongly and aggressively advised against that.
‘Those are great assets, they produce at a very high level. Jaguar Land Rover is an amazing brand in the US, premium luxury brand and the locations we had were unreplicable. You could never buy those brands again.’
As of December 31, 2019, the gross assets of the Hornburg dealership were said to amount to £36.7m, with profit before central costs amounting to £858,000.
Pendragon has said that the proceeds of the transaction will be used for general corporate purposes.
JLR has the right of first refusal over the trade and assets and could still nominate a replacement buyer.
In September this year, Pendragon published its delayed half-year results that showed it made a £31m loss for the first half of the year.
However, Berman told Car Dealer in a video interview you can see above that the group’s delayed results weren’t the result of any ‘going concern’ fears.
The following month, it announced that its pre-tax profit for this year’s third quarter had rocketed to £27.3m against £3.0m in 2019, as reported by Car Dealer.