Lithia eyes next possible acquisition: U.K.’s Jardine Motors

According to a recent report, Lithia Motors Inc. looks one step closer to entering the UK. This will be his second international market for the automotive retailer and will continue its geographical diversification.

Sky News on January 23, citing sources, said Lithia “will finalize a deal to acquire Jardine Motors Group for approximately $371.4 million within the next few weeks.” Sky News reported that the deal is still under discussion.

Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said: car news Last week in Dallas, the company said it would not comment on the acquisition until after the transaction closed.

But DeBoer says Lithia has spent nearly five years looking for suitable partners in the UK and Western Europe.

“Hopefully we’ll be there in the next few quarters or so,” he said. car news.

Jardine Motors is part of the conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings and is Europe’s 23rd largest dealer group by annual revenue. car news europe Guide to Europe’s biggest dealers 2022. The UK’s Jardine Motors portfolio has 14 car brands, from Mini and BMW to Ferrari, and 45 new car franchise points in its portfolio, according to the company’s website.

DeBoer has hinted that Lithia will enter other international markets outside of Canada, including the UK, where Lithia entered Canada in August 2021.

In August, Sky News named Lithia as an unidentified bidder in a failed deal to acquire Pendragon, one of the UK’s largest car retailers.

At that time, Pendragon was Europe’s 9th largest distributor group by revenue. car news europe 2021 Guide to Europe’s Largest Dealer with 142 New Car Franchise Points in the UK Pendragon also has its own dealer management system.

Steve Young, managing director of British European research and consultancy ICDP, said it was very likely that Lithia would end up in the country.

young, by email to car newscalled Jardine Motors an important group in the UK. , after-sales centralized support, and used car operations.

“Other than a large bias in the brand portfolio toward premium, there is nothing I would identify as unique or special about Jardine, but it is still a solid foundation to build on,” Young wrote. “By buying a business in this condition, you can claim that you are not paying a premium for the success of your recent investment or previous owner’s efforts. No remedial work required.”

Stephens Inc. analyst Daniel Imbro wrote in an investor note last week that Lithia’s pursuit of a UK property was “surprising, following last year’s headlines of the company’s interest in Pendragon. not,’ he said. Imbro writes that it believes the reaction to the acquisition could be negative, but “but believes there are strategic benefits to exposure in that market.”

Lithia of Medford, Oregon ranks second in the most recent rankings. car news List of the top 150 U.S.-based distributor groups selling 260,738 new vehicles in 2021. Through the third quarter of last year, Lithia has overtaken his rival AutoNation Inc. in new car sales for 2022. AutoNation has been No. 1 for a long time.

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