Business

Suitors increase offer to buy Charles Hurst parent firm Lookers to £504m

Ferrari is among the leading premium and luxury brands offered by Charles Hurst, whose parent company Lookers is subject of a takeover by Canadians Global Auto Holdings
Ferrari is among the leading premium and luxury brands offered by Charles Hurst, whose parent company Lookers is subject of a takeover by Canadians Global Auto Holdings Ferrari is among the leading premium and luxury brands offered by Charles Hurst, whose parent company Lookers is subject of a takeover by Canadians Global Auto Holdings

A DEAL to buy Charles Hurst dealership parent company Lookers could be back on - just days after it appeared on the verge of collapse.

Ahead of the Lookers annual general meeting on Thursday, suitors Global Auto Holdings have returned with an improved offer.

The Ontario-based car dealership had originally submitted a £465.4 million bid to acquire Lookers.

But Lookers' largest shareholder Constellation Automotive, through its Cinch Holdco UK business, said it would vote against any deal, forcing Lookers is to re-engage with other shareholders.

Ahead of Thursday's AGM, Global Auto Holdings Ltd said it has reached an agreement on the terms of an increased recommended cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Lookers.

The increased offer is at 130p per Lookers share and now values the business at £504.2 million.

It represents an increase of 8.3 per cent on the previous recommended offer of 120p announced on June 20.

The increased offer represents a premium of 46.6 per cent to the closing price per Lookers share of 88.7p on June 19.

Charles Hurst is Northern Ireland's biggest car retailer, operating across eight sites in the north and two in the Republic, representing more than 20 of the world’s top global car manufacturers, including leading premium and luxury brands.

Lookers reported a pre-tax profit of £84.4 million last year on revenue of £4.3 billion. It employs around 6,500 people.

Founded in Manchester in 1908 by John Looker, the business originally sold bicycles, and the occasional used car.

The business quickly switched to selling mainly cars, and in 1973 it listed on the London Stock Exchange.