Caverdale acquisition adds to van supply line

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CAVERDALE, the Luton-based motor dealer whose shareholders include the billionaire tycoon Sir James Goldsmith, has started 1994 by acquiring SOS (Motor & Engineering) for pounds 285,000.

The deal came as Caverdale received shareholder approval yesterday for the pounds 1.65m purchase of JJ Leadley, the Midlands motor dealer, announced two months ago.

SOS supplies industrial consumables to engineering workshops in the South. The business, which operates a fleet of 17 vans, complements Caverdale's mobile supplies activities.

Last August, the group became Britain's leading mobile supplier of engineering components with the purchase of Trust Parts, the Swindon company, for about pounds 900,000.

Arild Nerdrum, group chairman, said the latest deal would strengthen its customer base in the South and lift the van supplies sales force by about 10 per cent to 170.

SOS made a pounds 126,000 taxable loss on sales of pounds 2.3m in the 18 months to 30 June. But it is to be integrated into its Allied Components subsidiary, which should cut warehousing costs and overheads substantially.

Caverdale is paying pounds 50,000 for SOS's fixed assets and another pounds 235,000 for stocks.

The group is expected by City analysts to turn round a pounds 435,000 loss in 1992 to taxable profits of pounds 1.4m for the year ended 31 December.

The shares rose 0.5p to 14.75p. Last week David Dannhauser, finance director, bought 40,000 shares at the same price.