Britain's second-largest motor retailer, Reg Vardy, on Tuesday said that two new bidders have emerged following a 750-pence-a-share bid received this month from the UK's biggest car seller, Pendragon.

Reuters noted that Vardy, whose franchises include BMW, Citroen and Fiat, said last week it was in talks with Pendragon over an unsolicited GBP420m (US$724m) offer after a bid made on 16 November.

"Reg Vardy can now confirm it has received two further approaches from potentially interested parties," Vardy reportedly said in a statement. "These approaches are above the 750p level currently under discussion with Pendragon."

According to Reuters, UBS analyst Peter Whiting said in a note: "We expect this to support calls from Vardy holders for a higher price".

However, some analysts reportedly said they found it difficult to pin down who the new bidders might be.

Some told Reuters British car dealer [group] Inchcape was unlikely to buy a competitor in one swoop given the way it has steadily grown its UK business over many years. They also said Inchcape's business was more international in nature, which might also rule it out as an interested party.

UK-listed motor retailer European Motor Holdings Plc might also consider a bid, but with a market capitalisation of around GBP153m may be too small to carry it through, analysts told the news agency.

Inchcape refused to comment to Reuters, while senior officials at European Motor Holdings were unavailable.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more