SUNWIN Motor Group, the motor business of United Co-operatives, is set to double in size, following a multi-million pound deal with Ilkeston Co-op.
The deal ? announced at Co-operative Congress ? will see United acquire seven of Ilkeston's sites, which account for 15 dealerships, for an undisclosed sum and will provide Ilkeston with substantial funds which it will use to develop its own businesses.
United announced their intention to double their motor business in April when they revealed the existence of a £ 100 million ?war chest' allocated to expanding the society through acquisitions and new builds.
The Ilkeston Motor Group buy-out represents the first major acquisition of the strategy, though at the time United said they also expect to expand their food, travel, healthcare, funeral and department store interests.
Announcing the United-Ilkeston deal, the respective Chief Executives, Peter Marks and Tony Teatum, said in a joint statement: "This is a very exciting deal for both societies, their members and staff. It will allow both businesses to continue to progress well in the next decade.
"From United's point of view, the deal will immediately create a motor group with a turnover approaching £ 300 million and a position in the top 25 car dealerships in the UK. For Ilkeston, it will provide significant new investment for the society to use to develop its businesses in the East Midlands."
Added Mr Marks: "Currently, United has 15 motor dealerships, selling Renault, MG Rover, Peugeot, Fiat, Nissan and Land Rover vehicles. One of the attractions of the deal with Ilkeston is that we will be adding further to our Renault, Nissan, Fiat and Peugeot outlets, as well as acquiring new brands such as Mazda, Alfa Romeo and Hyundai.
"This deal puts us firmly in the big league and we look forward to developing our motor business further over the coming few years. Following so soon after the purchase by our Travel Group of Cruise Savers International, this latest acquisition clearly demonstrates our intention to invest heavily in our main businesses, as outlined in April."
Mr Teatum said: "This is a good deal for Ilkeston Co-op Group staff and members. With the introduction of the new block exemption rules in 2003, we have been examining ways to ensure a secure future for our motor group and its staff.
"The deal with United ? which has an enviable record of investment and profitable growth ? helps us achieve that, whilst at the same time allowing us to focus on building for the future."