22 May 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Group 1 set for UK expansion with Inchcape deal

Inchcape has said a deal to sell off its UK retail business to the UK arm of US-based Group 1 Automotive for around £346 million will complete its transformation into a pureplay distribution business.

London-based global automotive distributor Inchcape announced on April 15 it had agreed to sell the business unit to Group 1 Automotive UK.

Group 1 president and CEO Daryl Kenningham (pictured) said the acquisition would help the group expand into new markets in the central and north-west regions of England and Wales.

Inchcape’s group chief executive Duncan Tait said in a trading update on April 25 the road ahead for the group following the sale — expected to close in the third quarter of this year — is to become “capital light, highly cash generative, higher margin and globally diversified”.

“With our global market leadership position, digital and data capabilities to support our OEM partners, our distribution platform is well positioned for the future, and we remain confident about the medium to long-term outlook for the group.”

In fiscal 2023, Inchcape’s UK retail operations generated revenue of more than £2m. The unit employ around 3,600 across more than 80 sites in the UK with 12 OEM partners.

The group has operated in the UK since 2007, with the majority of its existing 55 dealerships in the UK based in the south-east and east of England.

Through its dealerships and omni-channel platform the company’s activities include selling vehicle parts, new and used cars and light trucks and providing automotive maintenance and repair services.

The UK business contributed $3 billion (£2.4bn) to the group’s overall revenue in fiscal 2023.