US-based Lithia and Driveway has completed the acquisition of the UK motor and fleet management divisions of Pendragon – the UK’s third largest automotive dealership group.

Following a bidding war, the deal closed with a purchase price of £397m.

Lithia says that its acquisition of the leasing division adds a “highly profitable” fleet management services business, while the UK motors business expands the brand and geographic footprint rounding out the reach and density of the network in the UK market. Pendragon PLC will continue as Pinewood Technologies, its automotive software arm.

As well as their fleet management divisions, Lithia takes ownership of Pendragon’s motor retail businesses, which include Stratstone and Evans Halshaw franchised dealerships and Evans Halshaw Carstore used car supermarkets.

Pinewood Technologies will enter a strategic partnership with a wholly owned subsidiary of Lithia Motors, to give a foothold for the Pinewood dealer management system in North America.

New Chapter

Bryan DeBoer, Lithia and Driveway’s president and CEO said: “Today marks the formal completion of our investment in Pinewood and Pendragon.

“This begins an exciting new chapter in our long-term growth strategy, as we turn our efforts to 2024 and beyond, executing and demonstrating the power of what the Lithia and Driveway ecosystem can and will produce.

“We look forward to delivering on the significant potential in this new partnership, adding $4.5 billion (£3.5bn) in revenue, entering the fleet management space and welcoming our new colleagues to the Lithia and Driveway family.”

The UK motor and fleet management divisions will report to Neil Williamson, Lithia’s UK regional president, who has led the integration of Jardine Motors Group since March 2023 and the addition of two BMW stores in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells in August 2023.

Expanded Footprint

Williamson said: “Our investment in Pendragon expands our footprint into Wales and Scotland, while serving to increase our brands, markets, and density in existing locations.

“This increased footprint, alongside the integration of Pendragon Vehicle Management and migration to a single technology platform with Pinewood, establishes Lithia as a diversified, innovative, and scaled UK presence with significant advantages to peers.

“We look forward to working with our new talented colleagues and OEM partners in the pursuit of providing transportation solutions wherever, whenever, and however customers desire.”