Vertu spends £2.6m on Ford site

FAST-GROWING car dealer chain Vertu has bought a Northumberland showroom in a £2.6m deal.

FAST-GROWING car dealer chain Vertu has bought a Northumberland showroom in a £2.6m deal.

The Newcastle company has bought a Ford dealership in Morpeth from the Jennings Group. Last year the dealership had sales of £8.2m.

The dealership will be re-branded Bristol Street Motors and complements the 16 Ford dealerships already operated by the group.

The deal, rumoured on Friday after Vertu bought five sites in the East Midlands, is in cash and includes freehold property valued at £2.05m.

Vertu said it believed “that by integrating the business into the Bristol Street management structure, operational performance improvement can be generated in the medium term.”

This acquisition follows the acquisition of five Honda dealerships announced on 29 June 2007 and brings the total number of dealerships operated by Vertu Motors plc to 46.

Vertu chief executive Robert Forrester said: “The acquisition of this single dealership highlights once again the consolidation opportunities in the motor retail sector.

“We are pleased to see expansion in the North-East of England and the continued growth in the operations of the group in line with our strategy of expansion.”

On Friday the company bought four Honda car dealerships and one Honda motorcycle dealership for £4.6m through the purchase of the entire share capital of Grantham Motor Company. Vertu is looking to grow by acquisition since it floated on the stock exchange in November, raising £25m.

The Honda dealerships in Grantham, Lincoln, Boston and Retford is Vertu’s first introduction to the fast-growing Honda franchise.

Vertu Motors, founded by former Reg Vardy executives last year, is the 10th largest motor retailer in the UK by turnover.

In March this year it bought Bristol Street Group for £40m.

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