Heron car interests are sold

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The Independent Online
THE sale of Heron's remaining motor interests yesterday cleared the way for the proposed bid for Gerald Ronson's struggling property empire from a group of US investors, writes Tom Stevenson.

The disposal to Malaya Group, rumoured to be for about pounds 16m, was a precondition of the offer for Heron, announced this week.

Shares in Malaya were suspended just before the close of dealings yesterday pending approval of the deal. It is the latest in a string of acquisitions that have increased the market capitalisation of the group 12-fold since 1992.

In August of that year new management took 54 per cent in Malaya and set about developing one of the UK's fastest- growing motor retailers.

Heron's remaining motor interests included HR Owen, the UK's second-largest Rolls-Royce dealer, and Hollingdrake, which takes Malaya into the Manchester region for the first time.

The bid for Heron valued the once high-flying property and petrol group at pounds 150m.