Halfords Group plc, the UK’s most well known provider of motoring and cycling products and services, is to buy Kent-based motoring services provider Universal Tyre and Autocentres for £15 million. Approximately £9m of the purchase price relates to the acquisition of real-estate and the net cash position of the business, with the remaining £6m paying for the underlying trading business. Halfords intends to sell and lease back the property within the next few months.
Graham Stapleton, Halfords’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have a clearly stated strategy of building a market-leading Motoring Services offer, and the acquisition of Universal is another important step forward in helping us to achieve that goal. We continue to see strong demand for our Autocentres, for our expanding fleet of Halfords Mobile Expert vans, and for our growing commercial business. Universal will help us to meet that demand whilst also expanding our geographic footprint in a market for which we see significant potential.”
With 201 sites and 89 commercial vans operating in the South East and on the east coast of the UK, Universal specialises in tyre services, including the supply and fit of tyres, from cars to commercial and agricultural vehicles, as well as providing general car maintenance and repairs such as brakes, servicing and MOT.
Universal is set to report revenue in excess of £31 million and EBITDA in excess of £1.5 million for the year ended 31 December 20202.
This acquisition takes Halfords closer to its ambition of having more than 550 garages in the UK and builds its coverage of the Commercial Truck and Van market.
Following the transaction, Halfords now has 374 garages, 185 commercial vans, and 136 Halfords mobile expert vans operating in its Autocentres business. Combined with its 404 retail stores, we provide motoring services from over 1,000 locations, giving our customers unmatched levels of convenience across the country.
Following on from its acquisitions of McConechy’s and Tyres on the Drive in 2019, this is further growth of Halfords’ motoring servicing business as it continues to establish itself as a leading motoring service provider in the UK.