Automotive importer and dealer group Inchcape is set to win control of car dealership European Motor Holdings with a £263m offer.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the EMH board has recommended the 480p a share offer while Inchcape has already won approval of 40.5% of EHM's shareholders.

The paper said Inchcape topped a competitive auction against rival bidders including rival car dealership group Lookers.

EMH's top premium brands include BMW, Mini, Volkswagen, Audi and Ford's premium brands, according to the report.

In a statement announcing its cash offer for EMH, Inchcape said: "[Our] current trading continues to be in line with expectations. For the two months ended 30 November 2006, Inchcape's unaudited management accounts show sales are up 8.3% (9.9% in constant currency) over the same period in the prior year.

"Sales for the eleven months ended 30 November 2006 were up 8.8% (8.4% in constant currency) on the same period in the prior year. Like for like sales were up 0.6% for the two month period and up 2.6% for the 11 month period ended 30 November 2006 in constant currency."