British car dealer and parts supplier Lookers , which was in offer talks with a consortium led by investor Jack Petchey recently, has said it was no longer in discussions with anyone, but was still open to selling the group.
“We are certainly not close minded to somebody coming in if they have a desire to buy the group,” chief executive Peter Jones told Reuters.
Last month, the company, which owns Scottish brand Taggarts and the Charles Hurst brand in Northern Ireland, had rejected a revised offer from Petchey’s consortium.
“We opened talks with the consortium when they revised their pricing. We didn’t have the support of our shareholder base, who valued the company at a higher figure than the 70 pence that was offered,” Jones told the news agency.
In May, Petchey’s Trefick vehicle, along with Moor Park Capital Partners , a real estate private equity investment advisory firm, and Brett Palos, a venture capitalist and real estate investor, was refused access to Looker’s books after they made a joint offer approach for the company.
Trefick owns a 17.3% stake in Lookers, which is currently valued at nearly GBP200m.
“The consortium obviously moved away and during the offer period, it didn’t stimulate any interest from any other buyers and now we are not in talks at all,” Jones said.
Following this offer approach and subsequent rejection of the proposal by the board, Lookers reviewed its strategic options and decided to continue with both its motor and parts divisions.
For January-June, the company maintained its pretax profit at GBP22.6m amid a tough economy. Revenue rose 1.4% to GBP1bn, helped by strong growth in its parts division.
“We don’t expect any material changes to full-year consensus forecasts (of GBP35.5m) at this stage,” Espirito Santo Investment Bank told Reuters.
“However, Lookers is a quality business, well-positioned to consolidate a fragmented market.”