Vantage is back on the acquisition road

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07/01/2016

Walker Morris team supports fast growing group to take total dealerships to 25 with three new deals.

A multidisciplinary team of lawyers from Walker Morris has helped Vantage, the fast-growing motor retailer, to expand its portfolio of dealerships to 25 across the North and Midlands with the acquisition of two more Toyota and one Lexus site in Yorkshire.

All the dealerships, Toyota and Lexus in Leeds and Toyota in Wakefield, were formerly operated by the Benfield Group which was recently acquired by Lookers plc. They take the total number of Vantage Toyota dealerships to 12, making it one of the largest Toyota groups in the UK.

The deal will also see Group staff numbers rise from 500 to 600 and annual turnover pass the £200 million mark.

Vantage paid £12.68 million for the three dealerships and will invest a further £1 million in up-grading the sites.

The Walker Morris team was headed by Tom Mieszkowski (Corporate) and Judith Pike (Real Estate).

Mark Robinson, the founder and Managing Director of Vantage Motor Group, which is headquartered in Harrogate, said today:

“This is not about doing deals for the sake of doing deals but because they make a perfect fit – strategically, geographically and culturally. Vantage and Benfield share a philosophy of putting employees and customers at the very heart of business and matching both with great products.”

Mr. Robinson, who is also Chair of the Toyota Dealer Council in the UK, added:

“These latest acquisitions cement our relationship with Toyota and reinforce our ambition of being a regionally based, national force in the industry, recognised not just for the excellent range of vehicles we sell but for the outstanding level of customer service we deliver and the career opportunities we provide for our staff.”

Judith Pike from Walker Morris said:
“These latest acquisitions reinforce Vantage’s long-term growth strategy and build on its well-deserved success.  We’ve been proud to advise Vantage throughout its growth  and our long-term relationship demonstrates our partnership approach to working with clients to understand their business and plan the best approach to achieving their goals.”

Vantage now represents eight manufacturers – Toyota, Lexus, Kia, Skoda, Citroen, Mazda, Honda and Hyundai.

Vantage is the trading name of the Meridian Motor Group where Lookers plc Chairman Phil White is a 30% shareholder. The deal for the three sites is a related party transaction on Stock Exchange Listing Rules Vantage was advised on the deals by Walker Morris, Colliers CRE, headed by David Chittenden, Grant Thornton, with funding provided by Toyota Financial Services.

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