#UK Marshall Motors boosts empire with £107m acquisition

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marshall, mercedes, maserati, cambridge

Marshall Motor Holdings in Cambridge has made a near-£107 million cash acquisition that significantly extends its UK franchise empire.

The quoted business has funded the takeover of Ridgeway Garages (Newbury) Ltd from existing resources.

CEO Daksh Gupta described it as a transformational deal which sees the company expand its geographic footprint from 19 to 25 counties, add 30 franchises and increase its product range and freehold property assets. It also makes Marshall Motors the seventh largest motor group in the UK.

Ridgeway is a multi-franchise dealer group operating across the affluent southern home counties of England, Wiltshire and Dorset, representing 12 brands via 30 franchised dealerships.

Its brands comprise Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz Commercials, MINI, SKODA, smart, Volkswagen and Volkswagen commercial vehicles.

Ridgeway also operates five own-branded Select multi-brand used car centres, two trade parts specialists, two service centres authorised by both SAAB and SEAT and two standalone body shops and a pre delivery inspection centre.

Its consolidated FY15 revenues were £722.6m, adjusted EBITDA was £20.2m and year-end shareholders’ funds were £55.4m including £15.2m of net debt.

Gupta said there were strong strategic benefits from the takeover as well as an attractive financial payback.

He said the acquisition would be significantly earnings enhancing in FY16, FY17 and subsequent years and that return on investment would be materially in excess of the group’s WACC (weighted average cost of capital) in FY17 and subsequent years. WACC is the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets.

The deal also strengthens the group’s freehold property portfolio, given Ridgeway’s 13 freehold properties (£53.9m of land and buildings as at December 31).

Gupta said: “This is a significant strategic and value enhancing acquisition for MMH that will move us from the 10th to the seventh largest UK motor dealer group.

“The acquisition, which is in line with our stated strategy at IPO to grow scale with existing brand partners, further builds on our acquisition last year of SG Smith by cementing our geographic footprint into the affluent southern home counties of England, Wiltshire and Dorset.

“We have funded this acquisition from our existing balance sheet capabilities. The board expects the acquisition of Ridgeway to deliver significant earnings enhancement and returns materially greater than our weighted average cost of capital.

“Ridgeway is a company I have been associated with since 2007. David Newman and his team have built an excellent business with fantastic senior management, great staff, strong performance and a similar culture to MMH.”
 

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