Currently reading: Weak pound drives North American takeover of UK dealers
Quality of the businesses is another factor in overseas buyers looking to UK

UK-based dealer groups are proving irresistible targets for overseas buyers - particularly those based in North America – tempted by both the weak pound and the quality of the businesses themselves.

On Monday, Pendragon – owner of brands such as Stratstone and Evans Halshaw - said it would sell its dealer network comprising more than 160 sites and leasing company to Oregon-based Lithia Motors for £280 million. The deal grows Lithia’s UK presence after the company agreed to buy Jardine Motors Group in March in a deal reportedly worth £300m-£400m. Jardine currently operates more than 50 dealers.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Alpha Auto Group is reportedly nearing finalisation of its deal to buy the Lookers group with 150 locations after the company upped its offer to shareholders.

Already operating in the UK is Houston-based Group 1 Automotive, which as of September last year had 79 franchises in the UK after steadily growing its presence since 2007.

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