SPECIALIST automotive sector lawyers have steered a major dealership acquisition deal over the finish line.
Dealership groups Steven Eagell, Listers and FRF have completed the purchase of 19 Toyota and Lexus dealerships from Motorline Ltd.
Lawyers at regional firm Howes Percival acted for the buyers in a complex deal involving multiple businesses and geographical locations, including the acquisition of five freehold sites and leases or underleases of others.
Specialist property lawyer Marcus Carter pictured left, who was part of the Howes Percival team on the deal, said: “This has been a flagship deal for us and a unique instruction, with some interesting challenges involving multi-site and business transactions and three buyers who individually are stand-alone giants within the automotive retail sector.”
The deal is Howes Percival’s third major motor dealer M&A transaction completed in the last 12 months, following transactions for the Steven Eagell Group in July 2022 and Group 1 Automotive in September 2022.
Mr Carter was joined in heading the team working on the deal by corporate partners Tom Redman and Andy Harris pictured below, who also heads Howes Percival’s automotive sector group. Other senior lawyers at the firm advised on the employment, commercial law, banking, regulatory and GDPR aspects of the acquisition.
“These are interesting times for motor dealers, as some manufacturers move towards an agency rather than conventional distributorship model,” Mr Harris right said. “The move to electrification has fallen slightly behind target for some, as the UK’s charging network struggles to cope with the increasing number of EVs on the road. Motor dealers also face increased competition from online car supermarkets.
“Howes Percival is in the thick of these changes and we are ready to support our clients not only on their M&A aspirations but also with day-to-day, business-as-usual matters.”