Leading North East commercial law firm Muckle LLP and nominated advisers Brewin Dolphinhave advised on £30 million of fundraising by Vertu Motors plc for an expansion and acquisition programme, which has been confirmed by Vertu’s shareholders today.
Set to help increase the motor dealership’s target turnover to close to £1 billion, the funds have been raised by way of a placing of shares on AIM and will provide Vertu with the cash to buy dealerships, expanding its portfolio in the process. Vertu Motors has worked alongside Muckle LLP and Brewin Dolphin since its inception in 2006 and will be working with the law firm throughout the acquisition process.
Andrew Davison, partner at Muckle LLP, said: “We are committed to supporting businesses and it has been fantastic to see Vertu Motors develop into a national leader, in just three years.”
It is encouraging that a North East company is bucking the national trend by looking to increase its market position, to ensure that it is in a position of strength for when consumer confidence returns. We wish them every success and very much look forward to working with them throughout their continued growth.
Graeme Summers, head of investment banking at Brewin Dolphin commented: “Our team’s experience in this sector is perfectly matched to Vertu’s ambitions, as it plans to grow through targeted acquisitions. As always, our emphasis at BDIB is on straightforward and practical advice, adding real value to growth companies. Our integrated proposition means we are well placed to guide companies through these tough economic conditions.”
The Newcastle-based motor group has grown to become the ninth biggest dealership in the country, recently announcing sales of £760 million this year.
Vertu Motors currently operates a portfolio of 45 dealerships across the UK, including Ford, Peugeot and Vauxhall, and acquired Bristol Street Motors in March 2007. The firm has grown from two staff to over two thousand employees since its inception.
Robert Forrester, chief executive at Vertu Motors plc, said: “Muckle LLP and Brewin Dolphinoffered excellent support throughout this transaction and have provided expert advice since we were established three years ago.”
Over the past twelve months, the automotive retail sector has encountered the most challenging market conditions for many years, but we believe that opportunities are beginning to emerge. Our trading performance in March and April this year was ahead of expectations and used car volumes and margins ahead of 2008 levels.
“We have already successfully integrated our previous acquisitions and plan to use this funding to invest in new dealership operations and extend the productive capacity of existing operations, maximising our market share in the coming years and continuing our growth.”