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17 February, 2010 - 14:21 By Staff Reporter

Acquisitions for Marshall with more on the cards

Marshall Motor Group's operation on Newmarket Road, Cambridge

Marshall Motor Group in Cambridge has confirmed its UK-leading position with a double acquisition in the Midlands that forms part of an ongoing strategy to expand its reach in a receptive market and be a top national dealer.

 

Business Weekly understands that Marshall has identified as many as 20 UK franchises as potential acquisition targets.Clearly the family-owned group will be pursuing only a percentage of these options but the approach indicates the determination of the group to exploit every available opportunity in the current climate.Cash rich Marshall has been regularly dipping into its war chest throughout the credit crunch and ensuing recession.In the past week Marshall has agreed a deal to acquire the four businesses of the Leicestershire- based Francis Group – another privately owned group which has been run by Robin Francis for the last 17 years. With this acquisition, Marshall adds two more Honda businesses to its portfolio bringing the total number of Honda sites to seven, building on the acquisition a year ago of the de Vries businesses in Yorkshire.  The new sites between them cover the whole of Leicestershire, including Leicester, the 10th largest city in the UK. The group also adds a new Seat business in Leicester, further building on the Marshall Group’s close relationship with Seat and with the Volkswagen Group. Marshall also gains its first Suzuki business with this acquisition. Marshall Motor Group chief executive, Daksh Gupta said: “We are delighted to be extending our involvement with Honda, further building on our already excellent relationship with them. “We are also thrilled to be able to strengthen our relationship with Seat, especially in such a busy and populated area such as Leicester.  We have represented this brand now for more than 12 years.” “We are excited about partnering with Suzuki for the first time, especially as their current product line-up of small cars in particular is well placed to maximise the opportunity in the current climate.” In a separate but equally significant deal, Marshall is to open a new Volvo dealership in Nottingham.  This move brings the number of Volvo businesses in the Marshall portfolio to four. Gupta said: “This is a great addition for Marshall and fits really well with our stated strategy to grow the business beyond our  traditional boundaries into large towns and cities with scalable markets. We have represented Volvo for 10 years now. “As a franchise, Volvo has outperformed the industry in the composites for return on sales with their network averaging 2.1 pr cent against an industry average of just one per cent in 2009. “In Marshall we have seen two of our existing sites exceed 3 per cent RoS and we are very excited about the future with the new products in the pipeline like the stunning new S60.” The new dealership will open in time to take advantage of the March new registration market. Marshall has now added 12 businesses to its franchise network in as many months, the latest bolting another £35m onto the group’s annual turnover. Marshall Motor Group is over 100 years old and now has 52 franchises representing 23 brand partners. It is a family-owned, debt-free business with over 1,750 employees and an annual turnover in excess of £500m.

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