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14 January, 2018 - 00:19 By Kate Sweeney

Birketts drives motor group acquisition

Law firm Birketts has advised Gates Group Limited – a fifth generation family-owned and operated business – on the acquisition of four car dealerships from Ford Retail Limited for an undisclosed sum.

Gates Ford, a family-owned and operated business whose history stretches back almost 100 years, now operates from 10 sites across the Essex, Hertfordshire and Greater London area.

Birketts advised on all legal matters with Adam Jones (Corporate Partner) leading the team. He was assisted by Alex Forwood (Corporate solicitor), Clare Barlow (Employment legal director) and members of the Commercial Property team, Matthew Grindley (senior associate), Duncan Williamson (legal director), Daniel Browne (solicitor) and Hannah Harbottle (solicitor).

Chairman of Gates Ford, Heath Greenall said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of these dealerships, which are an important part of our ongoing growth strategy. 

“We were aware of Birketts' Motor Industry Group’s growing reputation in the marketplace, and wanted to work with a team of lawyers that understand the nuances of our sector and are experienced in all aspects of the law relating to the motor industry sector, which Birketts proved themselves to be.

“As a fifth generation family-owned and operated business it is also important for our advisers to fully grasp our strategy and the wider importance of this transaction to what we are seeking to achieve in the business, and Adam completely gets the direction we are taking and the legacy we are building.”

Adam Jones, member of the Birketts Motor Industry Group and also Birketts’ head of the Family Owned Business team, added: “It has been a pleasure to advise Gates Group on its expansion plans as it builds for its long-term future. 

“The motor sector is currently going through a correction, and we are likely to see the market contract a little further in the first half of 2018, but the board of Gates Group see the clear opportunities to be gained from continued M & A activity, particularly as we expect the used car market to continue to perform well.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Gates group chairman and owner Heath Greenall

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