FAST-GROWING motor retailer Vertu has taken over six franchises from the Cooperative in a £5.5m deal.
The Gateshead-based business, which last year hit record sales of £1bn, said the businesses had a turnover of £113m last year.
The franchises, on three sites in Bradford, Derby and Ilkeston, broke even last year and are expected to be earnings-neutral in the current financial year and start making a profit in the year to February 2014.
The new businesses add a further six franchises to Vertu’s portfolio of 88 outlets and add around 200 staff to the company’s 3,000-strong staff.
Chief executive Robert Forrester said: “We are pleased to have acquired a further six sales outlets in the East Midlands and Yorkshire from Coop Motors.
“We will integrate these new sites into our portfolio under the Bristol Street Motors brand, which is already well established in these regions.
“With this transaction we are welcoming 200 new colleagues to the group. We are confident that their skills and expertise in providing an outstanding customer motoring experience will help us to grow our sales and profits in the years to come. ”
The latest additions to its network deal in Nissan and Fiat in Derby, Nissan and Peugeot in Ilkeston and Nissan and Renault in Bradford.
The Derby site has two showrooms which will be refranchised in the coming months. The Bradford property is freehold and the Derby and Ilkeston sites are leasehold with fixed rentals for the duration of the lease terms, which are both in excess of 10 years.
Following the acquisition Vertu will have nine Peugeot, seven Nissan, three Renault and three Fiat sales outlets.
Forrester added: “We are delighted to be growing our representation with our existing manufacturer partners, with the potential to add a new franchise to the group in due course at one of these sites.
“The mix of both freehold and leasehold property in this transaction reflects our approach of both developing our freehold property portfolio, while also using our cash conservatively.”