Vertu has bought Synter’s four remaining Volkswagen franchise dealerships in England, for £8.8 million. The deal takes Vertu to nine Volkswagen car franchises. Vertu expects the acquisition to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership.

Last year, Sytner was operating 12 VW businesses across the UK. However,in November 2019 it sold four to Johnsons Cars and closed one more.

The businesses bought by Vertu are based in Leeds, Huddersfield, Keighley and Knaresborough. This leaves Sytner with its two VW franchises in Belfast and Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland and one in Llandudno, Wales.

A spokesman for Vertu said: “For the year ended 31 December 2018 the combined management accounts of the dealerships acquired showed that they achieved revenues of £112m and a profit before tax of £0.6m.”

The sale is the latest in the shake-up of the Volkswagen network following a new franchise agreement issued by the German brand in 2018 which has also seen Marshall buy six VW cars businesses from Jardine as part of a larger deal and the sale earlier this week of two VW franchises by Inchcape to Citygate.

The Vertu acquisition marks a return to a growth in franchises through purchasing for the group after a period of 18 months. However, it did buy independent online retailer Vansdirect a year ago.

Commenting on the purchase, CEO Robert Forrester (pictured), said: “The addition of these excellent dealerships augments the Group’s representation of the Volkswagen brand and expands our operational footprint in Yorkshire.

“These portfolio changes reflect the Group’s strategy to continue to grow a significantly scaled franchised dealership business built on the back of a strong balance sheet, scalable operational systems and excellent relationships with its Manufacturer partners.”