Group 1 Automotive Buys U.K. Ford Dealerships


Hard on the heels of last month's expansion into Brazil, used-and-new car dealer Group 1 Automotiveannounced Wednesday that it has just bought four Ford dealerships in the United Kingdom, all in the area southwest of London.

Located in the towns of Farnborough, Guildford, Wokingham, and Bracknell, Group 1's new dealerships are estimated to do $177 million in annual business. The company says it will be rebranding all four of them with the "think Ford" brand, and says they will complement the company's existing BWM/Mini dealerships in the same region.

Financial terms of this acquisition were not disclosed. Last month, however, Group 1 paid a 0.22 price-to-sales ratio when purchasing Brazil's UAB Motors Paricipacoes dealership chain, a valuation roughly equal to its own shares' 0.2 P/S ratio. Assuming this week's U.K. purchase was done on similar terms, the approximate value of the transaction should be in the neighborhood of $35 million.

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