Vertu Motors has completed the acquisition of Inchcape’s BMW and MIni dealerships in Yorkshire and the North East.
CEO Robert Forrester reported on Twitter last night that the deal, first revealed by Car Dealer Magazine back in October, had finally been done.
He said: ‘We are now the largest motor retailer in the North East. It took 14 years. We are honoured to be able to represent BMW and Mini.
‘Last night we completed the acquisition of the BMW and Mini dealerships of Inchcape in Yorkshire and North East which will surprise few.
‘[It was] great to visit Sunderland and Durham this afternoon and meet the teams.’
Forrester said a full announcement will be made tomorrow.
Inchcape operated five of the sites in the Vertu territory, including a Motorrad bike site – in Sunderland, Teesside, York, Malton and Durham.
— Robert Forrester (@vertumotors) December 5, 2020
The addition of the BMW and Mini dealerships comes after Forrester told Car Dealer in October that ‘everything was on the radar’.
He said: ‘We are a sizeable group and we maintain good relationships with the manufacturers we haven’t got representation with – because we would be stupid not to.
‘In the fullness of time we would hope to be able to represent different manufacturers, but at the end of the day it is for those manufacturers to determine their franchising strategy and to allow people in.’
Car Dealer first reported that Vertu was interested in buying the Inchcape dealerships in October.
Inchcape refused to comment at the time when we reported a number of groups were circling its BMW portfolio.
Following our story, Vertu Motors made an unscheduled announcement to the Stock Market to confirm it was in discussions.
At the time, Vertu Motors said: ‘Vertu Motors plc…notes the recent press speculation and confirms, as per the stated strategy of the company, that it is in discussions with a number of parties concerning the acquisition of a number of dealerships, including a small number of BMW dealerships.’
And then a few weeks later Inchcape told suppliers it was selling the ‘BMW business unit’ to Vertu.
Inchcape wrote: ‘Having carried out a structural review of our operations we have agreed the in-principle sale of our BMW, Mini and Motorrad dealerships in Durham, Malton, Sunderland, Teesside, and York, as well as our Used Car Centre in York, to the Vertu Motors group.
‘The dealerships in North Yorkshire and the North East of England operate as a business unit and whilst we are satisfied with its performance, we are not able to grow adjacently. ‘
Therefore, Inchcape hereby give formal written notice of our intention to terminate any ongoing services as of the 4th December 2020.’
This week, it was also announced that Inchcape had sold its JLR Southampton site to Hendy Group for nearly £30m. Inchcape said it was looking to make its business ‘more efficient and effective’.
Main picture: Robert Forrester (@vertumotors) Twitter