Archive | Retailer News

DUTCH TRADE BODY TALK BREXIT WITH IGA

DUTCH TRADE BODY TALK BREXIT WITH IGA

Dutch garage trade group BOVAG (BOnd Van Automobielhandelaren en Garagehouders)  – has completed a nationwide tour of British garages to discuss future working relationships ahead of Brexit.

The BOVAG team joined up with the Independent Garage Association (IGA) during the trip. The visitors gained insight into the management of British independent garage businesses and discussed issues affecting the industry including MOT testing and access to technical information. The groups also discussed Brexit and the implications for their working relationship.

Stuart James, Director of the IGA said: “This co-operation with our European colleagues is a positive step towards maintaining strong partnerships throughout and beyond the Brexit process.”

Meanwhile, Gerard ten Buuren, Chair of BOVAG’s Independent Garage Division, said the team “gained a tremendous amount” from the visit and is “delighted” to continue working alongside the IGA.

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DCS LEATHERHEAD BECOMES LATEST AAG ACQUISITION

DCS LEATHERHEAD BECOMES LATEST AAG ACQUISITION

Leatherhead-based Discount Car Spares has been acquired by AAG, parent company of the GroupAuto buying group.

The factor was established in 1989 and has two branches. John and Gary Syrett and Robert Herman were Directors.

DCS was an existing GroupAuto member and participated in group promotions, such as the AutoCare network. Last year the factor presented customer Shirley Garage with a prize for becoming the 600th member of the scheme.

The news follows last week’s announcement that AAG had acquired nine-branch Lloyds Motor Factors 

 

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TENNECO ACQUIRES OHLINS FOR $160m

TENNECO ACQUIRES OHLINS FOR $160m

Kenth Ohlin and Brian Kessler

Tenneco has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ohlins Racing A.B. Total consideration for the deal, which is set to close in the first quarter of 2019 subject to shareholder approval, is approximately $160 million.

Ohlins is a Swedish premium suspension manufacturer, known for its high-end hardware often used in motorsport applications as well as in the consumer automotive market.

The deal further enhances Tenneco’s primary identity as a manufacturer and marketer of ride performance systems, as well as clean air solutions in the automotive industry. It comes amid a year of large acquisitions of high-profile brands for Tenneco – most notably its acquisition of US manufacturer Federal-Mogul on October 1st.

“I am delighted to welcome the Ohlins team as an important part of our new Aftermarket and Ride Performance company,” said Brian Kesseler, co-CEO of Tenneco. “Ohlins’ technology team will allow us to rapidly grow our product offerings for current and future customers, as well as help us win a larger share of business in developing mobility markets.”

Meanwhile, Ohlins founder Kenth Ohlin, who will continue in partnership with Tenneco to employ his technological vision, said: “We are excited to continue to deliver innovative technologies that can accelerate growth with the full strength and resources of Tenneco behind us.”

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LLOYDS MOTOR SPARES SOLD TO AAG

LLOYDS MOTOR SPARES SOLD TO AAG

Alliance Automotive Group has acquired the Wembley-based factor chain Lloyds Motor Spares (LMS). Terms of the deal have not been announced.

LMS can trace its history back to 1946. It has nine branches in West London and counts utility companies and the police among its fleet contracts. The chain currently employs 110 people and up until the acquisition counted John and Rod Hammond and Peter Benson among its Directors. It had previously been a member of the IFA buying group. 

The deal follows on from AAGs acquisition of a number of aftermarket brands over the last few months, including battery distributor Platinum International in October and Abergavenny-based Motorcare Motor Factors in July.

 

 

Discount Car Spares also acquired by AAG

 

Leatherhead-based Discount Car Spares has been acquired by AAG, parent company of the GroupAuto buying group. 

The factor was established in 1989 and has two branches. John and Gary Syrett and Robert Herman were Directors.

DCS was an existing GroupAuto member and participated in group promotions, such as the AutoCare network. Last year the factor presented customer Shirley Garage with a prize for becoming the 600th member of the scheme.

The news follows last week’s announcement that AAG had acquired nine-branch Lloyds Motor Factors

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EVANS SOLD TO SPORTS DIRECT IN PRE-PACK DEAL

EVANS SOLD TO SPORTS DIRECT IN PRE-PACK DEAL

Bike retailer Evans Cycles went into administration, only to be bought straight back out by Sports Direct.

The future of the retailer looked uncertain, as rival Halfords withdrew its bid to take it over, citing a desire to focus on expanding the Cycle Republic chain.

Trading has not been affected at Evans, although gift vouchers are ‘suspended’ and the status of the cycle to work scheme is unclear.

Gatwick-based Evans has a history stretching back to the 1920s, although in recent years the chain has expanded to 62 branches and 1,200 employees through the involvement of private equity. Sports Direct, the firm owned by Mike Ashley holds numerous other companies including department stores Lillywhies and House of Fraser and clothing brands including Firetrap, No Fear and Kangol.

Matt Callaghan, a partner at PwC and one of the administrators, commented:

“We are delighted to have secured a future for the business and employees of Evans. 2018 has been a very difficult trading year for the business, in part due to the impact of the extended winter weather, but also due to a lack of cash to invest in stores and develop the ecommerce platform. A combination of the associated losses, the capex requirements and tightening credit has led to a liquidity crunch”.

“Evans is a long-standing, well known and trusted brand with nearly 100 years of heritage in the cycling market. To have managed to preserve the business and transfer all staff to the purchaser is particularly pleasing.”

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POLICE ‘PAY AT PUMP’ SUGGESTION DRAWS ANGRY RESPONSE FROM PRA

POLICE ‘PAY AT PUMP’ SUGGESTION DRAWS ANGRY RESPONSE FROM PRA

A suggestion from Chief Constable Simon Cole of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) that petrol stations should take money upfront in order to reduce instances of petrol theft (known as ‘bilking’) has met an angry response from Brian Madderson, Chair of the Petrol Retailers Association.

“Instead of ‘victim blaming’ petrol retailers, the police should be honest that they are struggling to deliver their commitment to reduce crime”, said Madderson,

Chief Constable Cole’s comments were interpreted by the PRA as needing to install card or app based devices that are regarded by the association as  ‘prohibitively expensive’, estimating the cost to retrofit petrol pumps at £20,000. However, it is common in many self-service countries to pay first and then the cashier will turn the pump on.

Mr Madderson went on, “The UK has seen a 40 percent reduction in filling stations over the past 15 years. Those remaining have developed their retail offer to better serve their customers, with many lost amenities from banks and post offices migrating into the store of petrol stations, particularly in rural areas.”

“Rather than lecturing the victims of crime, the government should be empowering responsible businesses to enforce the law where the police are too overstretched to intervene. One solution would be to give petrol retailers electronic access to the DVLA’s Vehicle Keeper database, so they can pursue drive-offs through the civil courts and ease pressure on the police”.

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EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

EVANS CYCLES TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE EQUITY OWNERS

Evans Cycles is to be sold by its private equity owner ECI Partners.

The cycle chain has been making a loss over the past two years, although ECI has perused a strategy of expansion.

At the time of writing bids have been invited for the firm, with Halfords being reported by Sky News as being among the front runners.

Halfords itself set up the Cycle Republic chain as a rival to Evans Cycles in 2014. Halfords has previously stated an aim for Cycle Republic is to double the number of branches.

In general terms, cycle retail on the High Street has been under pressure as there has been a willingness by consumers to buy mid to high-end bikes from non-traditional outlets, such as Go Outdoors or from sports shops such as Triathlon. Low-end family bikes have been under pressure from online retailers such as Wiggle, which one retail survey put as the UK’s second largest cycle retailer in August

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ELTA AUTOMOTIVE IN MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

ELTA AUTOMOTIVE IN MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

Component supplier and Lucas licence holder, Elta Automotive has been subject to a management buy-out.

Terms of the MBO have not been announced, nut current MD Ian Hallam, who has worked with Elta since the company was incorporated, has become the company’s co-owner, alongside long-term European partner Luxline spol. s r.o – lead by Vladimír Palacka. Ian Hallam and Luxline become equal shareholders of a new holding company, Elta Investments replacing the previous holding company, Claverdon Fields.

The formation of a newco required the existing Lucas licence to be renegotiated. Elta will continue to supply bulbs, wiper blade and switchgear under the Lucas brand in the UK and Continental Europe, but engine management products bearing the name will now be supplied by SMPE.  As a result, Elta’s engine management programme will be supplied under the ‘Pro’ brand, announced last year.

“Our relationship with the iconic Lucas brand remains extremely important and will be a cornerstone of our European offering” remarked Hallam.

Elta HQ in Coleshill

“However, as would be expected, a change of ownership inevitably requires a new licence agreement with the brand owners, which is why we are particularly delighted to be able to announce that this has been secured and on a mutually positive basis for both parties” he said, adding that he was ‘thrilled’ with the prospect of a ‘significantly wider territory’ to sell the Lucas brand into.

 

 

 

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FPS WITHDRAWS FROM CAMPING AND CARAVANNING SECTOR

FPS WITHDRAWS FROM CAMPING AND CARAVANNING SECTOR

FPS Distribution is to withdraw from the camping and caravanning market. The changes take effect from November 30th and are in response to space pressure across its warehouse network.

Products affected include ‘canvas’ camping products such as tents, awnings and related accessories. Stowage and towing products including Mont Blanc racks, roof boxes and towbars are not affected and will continue to be stocked.

In a press statement, a spokesman said: “Our programme and everyone’s diligent work have provided growth in this sector. However, our market has changed and our core motor components business is growing so fast that we now have capacity challenges”.–

Space pressure on Sheffield DC influenced decision

“By withdrawing from caravan and camping, we will create capacity in our supply chain at both Sheffield, and in our HGV and branch transport fleet. This will allow us to focus on improving and growing our core business” read the statement.

FPS has been part of the Alliance Automotive Group since 2016.

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RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

RAPID GROUP FOUNDER SOLD TO GROUPAUTO PARENT

Carlisle-based motor factor chain TMS has been sold to Alliance Automotive Group (AAG), the parent company of the GROUPAUTO and UAN buying groups.

The 24-branch factor is active over Northern England and Southern Scotland. Terms of the deal have not been announced.

TMS Motor Spares Ltd started life as Teviot Motor Factors Ltd in the 1970’s when two of the current Directors bought a factors franchise.  A change of ownership led to TMS Motor Spares being set up in 1996 with a single branch (Annan). The business’ approach to trade factoring was a success and lead to expansion, resulting in the formation of the Rapid buying group in 2005.

AAG also announced the acquisition of three other Scottish single-branch factors that were already existing members. These are Livingston Autoparts Ltd, WD Motor Factors based in Dunfermline and Alloa-based Bridge Motor Factors.

 

 

 

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