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BREAKING: KLARIUS CASE THROWN OUT OF COURT

BREAKING: KLARIUS CASE THROWN OUT OF COURT

A significant legal case has been thrown out of court.

Klarius’ Cheadle site

Five directors of Staffordshire-based Klarius had been due to stand trial on charges of fraud at Manchester Crown Court, but it is understood by CAT that the judge did not find information provided admissible, apparently referring to a ‘shambolic failure’ in what was presented and found there was no case to answer.

The charges related to historic claims of ‘knowingly’ selling non type-approved emissions products.

UPDATE: KLARIUS ISSUE STATEMENT

READ: KLARIUS DIRECTORS FACE COURT

READ: BREAKING: STATEMENT ISSUED BY KLARIUS DIRECTORS

 

 

 

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BOSCH TO ACQUIRE UNIPART CAR CARE CENTRES

BOSCH TO ACQUIRE UNIPART CAR CARE CENTRES

Industrial giant Bosch has announced its intention to acquire Unipart Group’s workshop programmes in the UK. These programmes include the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC), a network of independently run garages, the KiS online garage management software, which helps to organise all daily workshop activities, and the ‘Unipartner’ Consumer App. It is planned for all existing customer contracts to be transferred to Bosch. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

“This acquisition perfectly fits with our growth strategy for the United Kingdom and Ireland”, Steffen Hoffmann, President Bosch UK and Ireland, said. “It is a significant step that increases our network of partner garages creating new sales channels for our automotive parts, diagnostics, and workshop services with these customers.”

Established in 1995, Uniparts’ Car Care Centre is one of the most recognised workshop programmes in the UK. Bosch will take over the marketing support and training services for the garages plus ensure access to Bosch’s full range of automotive parts, diagnostics and workshop services.

UCCC to become part of Bosch

Mike Ferris, Unipart International Managing Director said: “We’ve been working in close partnership with Bosch for many years on a number of joint initiatives and they share many of Unipart’s core values and principles. I am delighted that the Unipart Autoparts Garage Programmes will be transferring to a trusted business in Bosch who will further develop the programmes, whilst maintaining the needs of the garage and consumer at the forefront of their plans”

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LAND ROVER SPECIALIST BRITPART ACQUIRES ALLMAKES 4X4

LAND ROVER SPECIALIST BRITPART ACQUIRES ALLMAKES 4X4

Shropshire parts manufacturer Britpart has acquired the assets of rival off-road specialist Allmakes 4×4.

The Oxfordshire-based firm will now trade as Allmakes PR2 4×4 Ltd, with no change to its management team or staff. Financial details of the deal are unconfirmed, but Allmakes claims to hold roughly £7 million worth of Land Rover, Jeep and other off-road-related components at its 180,000sq ft warehouse. 

Picking stock at Allmakes 4×4

The purchase means Britpart (the trading name of Border Holdings Ltd) is also now the parent company to Allparts subsidiaries Frogs Island, a Land Rover repair specialist, and accessory supplier Terrafirma. 

Before the deal, 35 year-old Britpart supplied 28,000 Land Rover parts from its Craven Arms distribution centre to more than 1000 customers worldwide, ranging from trade outlets to government agencies. This latest development will significantly enhance its product offering in the sector. 

Paul Myers, Managing Director at Border Holdings Ltd, said: “We are confident that using the successful formula of supplying good quality parts at affordable prices with 1st class logistics will enable Allmakes PR2 4×4 to continue to grow.

“Border Holdings has committed to a successful long term future for the Abingdon site and all its employees.”

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HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

HALFORDS ACQUIRES MCCONECHY’S FOR £9.3M

Retail giant Halfords has acquired Scottish servicing chain McConechy’s in a deal worth £9.3 million.

McConechy’s is one of the UK’s largest servicing and MOT chains, employing roughly 330 people across 59 sites in Scotland and the north east of England. It is estimated to generate around £45 million in revenue, and will slot in alongside Halfords’ existing Autocentre, weFit and Mobile Expert servicing brands. 

The new deal has been described by Halfords boss Graham Stapleton as “highly complementary” to the firm’s existing range of product and service offerings. 

He added: “The vehicle servicing market is a £10 billion market, but one which remains highly fragmented, offering significant scope for Halfords’ trusted and recognised consumer brand to grow its market share considerably.”

READ: PROFITS SLUMP AT HALFORDS FOLLOWING MILD WINTER

The announcement comes as Halfords rounds up its half-year financial results, which reveal a 2.5 percent profit drop and 2.9 percent revenue decline in the six months leading up to 27 September. 

The company blames the losses on a “challenging retail backdrop and tough weather comparators year-on-year”, but also acknowledges that further financial damage was prevented by “strategic investment, gross margin improvements and tight cost control”. 

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NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

NTDA BOSS: ‘TOTAL BAN ONLY WAY’ FOR PART WORN TYRES

Stefan Hay, the Chief Executive of the National Tyre Distributors Assoc. has opened the annual conference by calling for a total ban on all part worn tyres, following a failure to enforce standards.

Stephan Hay calls for total ban on part-worn tyres

“Over the last two years I have been criticised on two counts” he said. “Firstly, by online trolls who call me some outrageous things. These trolls are actually fans of part worn tyres. Secondly, I’ve been criticised by scrap merchants who make a profit out of selling part-worn tyres”.

READ: FEDERATION CALLS FOR BAN ON USED TYRE SALES

“These people have said that I’m only calling for a ban because I want to sell more tyres. Well, to the critics I say ‘you’re damn right’. Our members don’t sell part worn tyres, so of course we want to sell safe, legal tyres and I don’t make any apology for that. Our members have been campaigning for greater tyre safety since 1930, so why would I change position now?”

Hay continued: “In the past I have been criticised by non-NTDA members for  calling for a ban on illegal or non-compliant tyres, but not all part-worn tyres… Well, that’s a bit of a play on words. Of course our members want a ban on all part worn tyres, because at the moment lack of enforcement, and therefore compliance, meant that a shocking 99 percent of retailers inspected during Tyre Safety Month were not compliant with the regulations, and 75 percent of tyres inspected were dangerous. So, if we weren’t to ban all part worn tyres, what exactly would be left?”

The conference also included speakers from roadside recovery and vehicle lighting, and topics included safety, fraud and counterfeit protection as well as tax liability.

 

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OSRAM LATEST: WORKERS UNION REJECTS AMS BID

OSRAM LATEST: WORKERS UNION REJECTS AMS BID

German workers’ union IG Metall has rejected the recent €4.3 billion euro takeover offer by sensor firm AMS for lighting company Osram, according to a report by Reuters.

A spokeswoman reportedly said that ‘the strategy behind AMS’s offer is still not convincing.’

The rejection comes after Osram reported AMS’s €38.50 per-share offer on August 12th and stated that ‘the financing concept presented appears binding and viable.’ Osram confirmed it was in talks with AMS shortly after.

It is not the first time that IG Metall – which has more than 2.2 million members – has voiced opposition to the deal. On 24th July IG Metall released a statement opposing a ‘potential takeover of Osram by AMS’*, suggesting that the offer has been in talks for some time. At the time, IG Metall stated that ‘the necessary financing is absolutely irresponsible’* and ‘there are signs that the AMS offer will break up and massively downsize the company to create ‘synergies’. That is not acceptable to us.’*

OSRAM HQ

IG Metall’s rejection is the latest development in bids to acquire Osram. In early July, Osram received a public takeover offer from private equity firms Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group for €35 per share – approximately €4 billion in enterprise value.

*quotes indirect – translated by Google

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NEW €4bn+ BID FOR OSRAM

NEW €4bn+ BID FOR OSRAM

German lighting manufacturer Osram has announced that it is in negotiations with Austrian sensor and semiconductor firm AMS AG following a takeover offer by the latter. 

The takeover would see ams acquire all outstanding Osram shares. AMS is understood to have offered a price of 38.50 euros per Osram share, which Osram estimates is equal to around 4.3 billion euros in enterprise value. 

In a statement issued on 14th August, Osram claimed to have been in talks with AMS since the previous day and would ‘continue to do so’. Regarding acceptance of the offer, Osram said it viewed ams AG’s financing concept – which involves bridge financing of 4.2 billion euros by investment banks HSBC and UBS – as ‘viable’. 

READ: Bain Capital and Carlyle bid €4bn for Osram

“In addition to the offer price and financing concept, a stable environment is important for Osram’s further transformation into a semiconductor-based high-tech photonics company,” Osram said. “Moreover, it is greatly important to Osram’s Man-

Osram HQ

-aging Board that all key stakeholders are appropriately protected, in particular the company’s employees and the essential parts of the company.” 

READ: Osram completes Ring Automotive acquisition

It is the second takeover offer for Osram in as many months. Private equity firms Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group made a similar offer for the public takeover of all Osram shares – albeit for a slightly lower share price of 35 euros per shares – in early July. Under the offer – which is still ongoing – Osram said it would retain its name and rights to all patents. At the time, Olaf Berlien, CEO of Osram, said: “Bain and Carlyle are the right partners for Osram at the right time.” 

Talks are ongoing. 

 

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MUKESH: ‘I WANT A £200m BUSINESS BY 2025’

MUKESH: ‘I WANT A £200m BUSINESS BY 2025’

Mukesh Shah, Founder and Chairman of independent factor chain Motor Parts Direct has told an audience of his plans to grow the business further.

Speaking at the firm’s 20th anniversary supplier meeting and conference, known to all by his first name, Mukesh, said: “Our vision is to have 200 branches and sales revenues of £200m by 2025”.

READ: MPD ACQUIRES ALS MOTOR PARTS

He went on to explain that the target would only be achievable with the commitment of everyone in the company. “You can have a clear vision, but you need excellent people to realise it… We believe that we have the best people in the industry to operate our business”.

Mukesh added that in 2014 he stated an aim to become a £100m business and this was realised a little over a year later through a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions.

Mukesh at MPD Awards

Originally a regional chain based in East Anglia, the firm now has 120 branches across England and Wales. It has benefitted from the acquisition of other long-established regional chains, including Kevin Cooper, CAFCO and Central Auto Supplies. MPD is now the UK’s largest independent factor chain.

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MAN ARRESTED IN FAKE SPARK PLUGS RAID

MAN ARRESTED IN FAKE SPARK PLUGS RAID

Trading Standards in East Sussex has uncovered a haul of fake spark plugs, valued at nearly £40,000

Istvan Lorincz of Hailsham was found to be in possession of bags of the engine components, along with sophisticated label making equipment and cartons. He had been passing off the fakes as authentic parts on internet auction sites.

Fake plugs found in raid (Photo: East Sussex Trading Standards)

Hove Crown Court found him guilty of 25 breaches of the trademarks act and handed down a four-month prison sentence, suspended for eighteen months.  

Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council told local paper, The Eastbourne Herald: “This unscrupulous individual was caught with counterfeit motor parts with a very high value”.

“He was knowingly selling these items online to unsuspecting consumers and businesses around the country, to the detriment not just of the buyers, but of the manufacturers whose products he claimed to be offering and to genuine traders trying to make an honest living”

Rumours of fake spark plugs in the market have been floating about for a while.

 

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‘EXTENDED VEHICLE’ CONCEPT CAUSING AFTERMARKET CONCERN

‘EXTENDED VEHICLE’ CONCEPT CAUSING AFTERMARKET CONCERN

By Greg Whitaker

A new concept in the evolution of connected cars has been proposed by VMs, but many in the aftermarket are not happy.

Backers say that the idea of the ‘Extended Vehicle’ concept will lead to greater protection from hacking and fewer risks from on-vehicle software updates etc. as data will be stored on centralised servers and any access to data will be via these computers, rather than on the car itself.

A website to promote the concept, cardatafacts.eu, has been set up by ACEA, the body that represents VMs in Europe. The site argues that while the servers will be run by the VMs, third parties such as diagnostic tool companies are welcome to establish ‘neutral’ data centres, not operated or funded directly by the manufacturers. However, detractors of the concept say that it amounts to a ‘major threat to aftermarket competition’ as all of the data generated by a vehicle will be in the hands of the VMs at least to begin with, and the third party servers may be a bit like the ‘pass-through’ diagnostics from a few years ago, which used data pulled directly from VMs servers on third party diagnostic tools. Technicians complained that the data available was either late or incomplete compared with the dealer tool.

A recent study showed that the potential for financial loss for independent repairers, and extra costs for the motorist, could be huge if the Extended Vehicle concept is enacted in Europe and the UK. Both the VMs and independents, via the medium of trade bodies, are going head-to-head over the issue, and a test server is being set up to illustrate to the European Commision of the sort of problems that are likely to arise from it.

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