Group 1 of U.S. buys four Ford dealerships in England
Hesterberg: Expanding ties with Ford.
U.S. auto retailer Group 1 Automotive Inc. acquired four Ford dealerships in England, adding to its UK holdings.
The dealerships are being acquired from Inchcape Retail Ltd., one of the largest new-vehicle dealership groups in the United Kingdom.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Texas-based Group 1 expects the stores to generate about $177 million in annual revenues.
The dealerships will operate under the "think Ford" brand name and are located southwest of London in the towns of Farnborough, Guildford, Wokingham and Bracknell, Group 1 said Wednesday.
Group 1 already owns and operates BMW-Mini and Audi dealerships in the United Kingdom.
"We are delighted to add Ford to our brand offerings in England with this acquisition of four dealerships in a growing area outside of London," Group 1 CEO Earl Hesterberg said in a statement. "We are also very pleased to expand our relationship with Ford Motor Company internationally."
Hesterberg is a former Ford of Europe sales chief and also led sales operations for Nissan Europe.
Group 1, the fourth-largest dealership group in the United States, has been targeting domestic and overseas acquisitions to take advantage of the rebound in new-vehicle sales.
In January, Group 1 announced plans to acquire Brazil's UAB Motors Participacoes and its 18 stores.
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