Expansion financed by parts division sale

National motor retailer Lookers has announced today that it has entered into a contract to sell its Parts Division (FPS, Apec and BTN) to Alliance Automotive Group.

Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) is a large European aftermarket business, backed by global private equity business Blackstone, and has a substantial business in France, as well as operations in the UK through its owned aftermarket network and through their GA/UAN buying groups.

The agreement reached is an exchange of contracts and final completion, which is subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearance, is expected at the end of October.

AAG have offered £120m for the Parts Division and Lookers consider this to fully reflect the value of the business.

Lookers had intended to grow the parts business in line with the growth of its Motor Division but had found it difficult to identify suitable acquisition opportunities.

By joining forces with AAG, the Parts Division will now be part of a large European parts distribution business, which will allow it to grow at a faster rate and secure its position in the supply chain to the benefit of its customers, suppliers and colleagues.

The proceeds of the sale will be used by Lookers to acquire more dealerships in the UK, where the group continues to see many opportunities.

Lookers Chief Executive Andy Bruce said: “This transaction will significantly strengthen our ability to accelerate the growth in our core car dealership business whilst opening new opportunities to our colleagues and I look forward to sharing the benefits of this with my colleagues across Lookers in the future.

“In fact we are already at an advanced stage of negotiation to acquire two dealership groups who represent premium brands and we anticipate making announcements on these in the coming weeks.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues in the Parts Division for their hard work over the years. Since acquiring FPS in 2004, and subsequently Apec and BTN, the business has made an invaluable contribution to our company.”

Lookers Interim Financial results will be announced to the city on Tuesday 16 August.

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