Lonrho sells car dealers for pounds 113m

Jack Barclay, the country's biggest Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer, changed hands yesterday as part of a pounds 113m management buyout of the Dutton- Forshaw group from Lonhro. Andrew Yates assesses the future of Lonhro as it seeks to turn itself into a pure mining company.

Jack Barclay's car showroom in Berkeley Square is a regular haunt for the rich and famous who demand only the best. Set up 70 years ago by the famous racing driver, who held eight world records, the business was acquired by Dutton-Forshaw in 1977 and fell into the hands of Lonhro two years later.

Now Jack Barclay, along with 30 other Dutton-Forshaw dealerships, has been bought by a management team led by chief executive Robert Robinson and backed by CVC Capital Partners, the venture capitalists. Dutton-Forshaw employs 2,500 people and also sells makes such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhall and Ford.

The deal is the latest sign of the restructuring in the motor industry, which has been thrown into turmoil by manufacturers' demands to deal with only one distributor in one area.

"This business requires a lot of capital expenditure and we will invest significantly in the dealerships. Winners and losers are emerging in this industry and we want to be winners," said Rob Lucas, a director of CVC.

Dutton-Forshaw was making a loss a few years ago but its management team has steered it to recovery. It made a profit of pounds 4m for the 12 months to September 1996, but that figure is understood to have increased substantially this year.

Lonhro was prevented from making a trade sale as it would have enabled manufacturers to renegotiate franchises. It considered a flotation but believed it could get a better price from a management buyout.

For Lonhro the move marks the latest step in its plan to dispose of its non-mining interests. The $450m sale of its Princess luxury hotel division has been postponed due to a wrangle over price with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Lonhro has put the chain back on the market and is in talks with three international hotel groups about a sale.

It also plans to demerge its African trading interests by the middle of next year. With gearing virtually eliminated, Lonhro is keen to expand its mining business and has JCI, the South African mining group, in its sights. The group hopes to tie up a deal within a month, ending a long running saga between the two groups.

Lonhro rejected overtures from JCI earlier this year. However now the South African group has disposed of most of its gold mining interests Lonhro sees it as an attractive target and wants to marry its own coal interests with JCI's Tavistock coal mining business.

Suggested Topics
News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits