Richmond Motor Group, based at Farlington, has today announced the acquisition of Sparshatts franchised businesses. The acquisition includes two Škoda sites, one Suzuki site and one Mitsubishi site, split between Fareham and Botley.
The growth of Richmond Motor Group has been led by inspirational entrepreneur Michael Nobes, the sole owner, founder and Managing Director. Born and bred in Portsmouth, Michael started his automotive career as a part-time valeter while still at school. Through hard work, determination, and a shrewd business brain, Michael has built the business from his first Hyundai site in 1995 to the quarter of a billion-pound business empire it is now. The group now has 12 franchise locations and 1 used car supermarket, covering an area from South-West London to Portsmouth and Southampton and employs over 500 people locally. With plans for adding 4 further franchise locations within the next 12 months, this would see the group grow to 17 outlets.
Michael said, "The acquisition is key to diversifying the group’s portfolio to ensure long term resilience in a tough UK market. Despite a general downturn in the UK automotive sector, all our existing businesses have seen significant year on year growth, which is a testament to the fantastic team of people we employ. We intend to apply many of the Richmond cutting edge processes to the Sparshatts business to leverage profitability and returns."
Automotive industry consultant Fraser Brown commented, "Michael’s business growth has been remarkable and unprecedented in terms of building the business from nothing to the size it is today with no outside investors. To start a business and create what Michael has is a remarkable testament to his leadership and business skill." Richmond Motor Group were the highest new entry to the top 100 dealer groups in the UK this year and that was prior to the acquisition of Sparshatts.
Sam Nobes, Operations Director said, "Richmond has a number of unique ways of operating that put us significantly ahead of other dealer groups in the way we market our business. Our entire business is about delivering an exceptional customer experience and treating our colleagues and customers like friends of the Richmond family. We are a quarter billion-pound company now and we have ambitions to multiply the size of the group again over coming years."
In a joint statement, Louis Jones, Managing Director of Sparshatts and Michael Nobes said, "This is a deal that works for everyone, Richmond acquire the franchised business’s to diversify their portfolio of brands and it allows an exit strategy for some of the Sparshatts directors whilst allowing others to reinvest and expand in a consolidated used car business. It works for all the brands involved but most importantly all the existing staff are retained in one of the two businesses.
Stuart Datlen Managing Partner of the Moore Stephens Southampton office who did the due diligence and helped broker the deal said, "I am delighted to have been a key player in this acquisition, two local businesses brought together by another local business. At Moore Stephens we have a whole range of services for businesses of all sizes, Richmond is an important customer of ours and we have been with them on their journey from being founded in 1995 to the quarter of a billion-pound company they are today"
A number of the Sparshatts Directors have retained the company name and their non-franchised used car outlets. The franchise businesses will now be rebranded under the Richmond umbrella.