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General news updateBack

VertuVertu bolt-on acquisition of Gordons Bolton car dealerships

Vertu Motors has bolted on four more Ford sites to its Bristol Street Motors portfolio with a takeover of Gordons (Bolton) Ltd.

The top 10 AM100 car dealer now has 22 dealerships representing Ford, and this acquisition has taken its operation to 114 sales and aftersales outlets across England and Scotland.

For an estimated £11 million cash, Vertu has acquired the trade and certain assets of two Ford main dealerships in Bolton and Wigan plus two satellite operations in Walkden and Horwich. The assets include four freehold properties valued at £6.9m, including a development site at Wigan for the construction of new premises.

The Gordons business has represented Ford in Lancashire for more than 100 years and employs 218 people.

For the year ended 31 December 2013, the management accounts of Gordons showed revenue of £76.7m and operating profit of £0.3m. Vertu said the dealerships are expected to be earnings neutral in the first full year of ownership and earnings enhancing in the 2016/17 financial year.

Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors chief executive, said: “The board is delighted to announce the acquisition of this well established business in Lancashire, which will provide further scale to the group’s Bristol Street Motors Ford business.

“We are pleased to welcome over 200 new colleagues into the group who bring with them a wealth of experience in the Ford brand.

“This acquisition also brings with it some substantial freehold property assets which the group will actively manage to enhance shareholder value.”


KeepCalm‘Keep calm and carry on’ advice on holiday pay ruling

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has made a decision regarding holiday pay and overtime that may have a huge impact on employers in the UK – but dealers are being advised to take no action, but be prepared for staff questions.

The EAT ruled recently on its interpretation of the Working Time Directive that overtime pay should be included in pay for holiday leave.

Ruling summary:
Both guaranteed and non-guaranteed overtime should be included when calculating the amount of holiday pay due to an employee. The regulations state that an employee should be paid ‘normal pay’ whilst on holiday – what this ruling has changed is that ‘normal pay’ is now deemed to include overtime if overtime is normally paid.

Overtime pay should only be included in respect of the 4 weeks’ minimum holiday entitlement derived from European law. UK statutory minimum holiday provides an additional 1.6 weeks but there is currently no requirement to include overtime pay in this.

Employees will usually only have 3 months from the date of underpayment to make a claim. Legal experts are saying that it will be difficult for employees to claim underpayments of holiday stretching back several years, as some newspapers have reported.

Eilean Hamilton, HR consultant at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said to dealers: “Take no action yet. The decision will almost certainly be appealed, in which case it will be considered by the courts for another year or two.

“If you have questions from employees, the current advice is to state that you are aware of the decision and will keep up to date with any appeal process.

“Tell those that ask, the Government has set up a task force to advise on the issue so until an appeal decision is made or there is further Government or legal advice, the company will not be changing the way in which it calculates holiday pay.”


davidCCameron reveals £15bn roads plan at CBI conference

The Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled a £15 billion investment plan for the country’s roads at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference in London today.

The proposals will see investment in more than 100 projects on the Strategic Road Newtork by the end of the decade, and result in hundreds of extra lane miles on the UK’s motorways and trunk roads.

By improving the condition of our roads, increasing the capacity of existing roads and taking forward major new strategic road schemes, the UK’s first ever long-term Roads Investment Strategy is designed to help boost the economy.

Cameron said: “We know to secure Britain’s future, we need world-class infrastructure. Families need it to get around; businesses need it to create jobs; we need it to compete with the world and deliver economic security.

“So whenever we have been faced with the choice between the past and the future, we have always chosen the future.

“Not just HS2 and Crossrail; but HS3, the biggest investment in our railways since the Victorian time, a new nuclear power station and tapping shale gas – we have always chosen the future.

“In three weeks’ time, you will see an Autumn Statement where we choose the future again.

“At its heart is the biggest, boldest and most far reaching road improvement programme in four decades: over 100 improvements to our major roads.

“Hundreds of extra lane miles on our motorways and trunk roads. The green light given to major projects that have been stalled for years.

“Action to improve some of the most important arteries in our country – like the A303 and the A1 – which for too long have held parts of our country back. And all underpinned by over £15bn worth of investment.

“This will be nothing less than a roads revolution – one which will lead to quicker journey times, more jobs, and businesses boosted right across the country.”


Posted by Sue Robinson on 14/11/2014