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14 October, 2021 - 10:29 By Tony Quested

Marshall acquires 48 franchises in £64.5m cash swoop

Marshall Motor Holdings in Cambridge, one of the UK's leading automotive retail groups, has acquired Motorline Holdings for £64.5 million cash, adding 48 franchises to the quoted group.

MMH has separately acquired a related freehold property for £2.9m and has the option to acquire two additional strategic freehold properties for £24.9m.

Motorline is a leading multi-franchise dealer group headquartered in Canterbury and operating across Kent, West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Bristol, South Wales and the WestMidlands. 

It represents 10 brands through 48 operating franchises including Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Audi, ŠKODA, Nissan, Peugeot, and Maserati.
It also operates four Volkswagen Group Trade Parts Specialist (TPS) businesses and five used car centres.

Motorline’s consolidated revenues for the year ending December 31, 2020 were £695.2m with profit before tax of £6.1m (which included a one-off profit on the disposal of freehold property and other one-off items of in aggregate c£4.0m). Motorline’s consolidated shareholder funds at completion are c£30m.

The acquisition is in line with the group’s strategy which includes growing scale with its chosen brand partners; annual revenues are expected to exceed £3 billion.

Motorline is the second largest retail partner for Toyota and Lexus in the UK with 19 franchises; Toyota/Lexus is the largest vehicle manufacturer globally with a passenger car market share of approximately 7.2 per cent in the UK.

Motorline is the joint second largest Hyundai retail partner in the UK with seven franchises. Hyundai is the third largest manufacturer globally with a UK market share of approximately four per cent.

The deal further strengthens MMH’s number one position in terms of scale and depth of relationship with Volkswagen Group through new locations with the Volkswagen, Audi and ŠKODA brands in attractive territories, together with additional Volkswagen Group TPS locations.

Seven further Nissan franchises are added, making the group the fourth largest Nissan retail partner in the UK with 10 franchises.

The addition of four further Peugeot franchises, makes the group the joint second largest Peugeot retail partner in the UK with seven franchises.

MMH now has representation in 37 counties in England and Wales, further strengthening its used car proposition.

Chief executive Daksh Gupta said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Motorline in line with our strategy which includes growing both further scale with existing brand partners and developing scaled relationships with selected new brand partners.

“Motorline is an extremely well-respected, long-standing business. The Obee family have overseen a significant expansion of the business in recent years and have invested in a market- leading property portfolio.

“The acquisition has been funded from existing cash resources and is expected to generate attractive financial returns for our group. We welcome our 1500 new Motorline colleagues to the group.”

Glen Obee, ex-chairman, Motorline, added: “Following a period of almost 50 years from when our father founded Motorline in 1972 and having worked within our family business for over 40 years, my brother Thomas and I have decided to retire from the industry that we have enjoyed working within throughout our careers.

“Under the excellent leadership of Daksh Gupta and his management team, the newly expanded Marshall Motor Group will be even better placed to embrace the future dynamics of the changing motor sector.”

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