Lookers acquires Northern Ireland leasing company

LOOKERS, one of the UK’s largest dealership groups, has acquired Northern Ireland’s leading contract hire and fleet management company, for an undisclosed sum.


Lookers, which already operates a contract hire and leasing company on theUKmainland – Harrogate-based Lookers Leasing which runs 2,500 vehicles – has acquired Fleet Financial through its Charles Hurst Group trading division.


Mallusk-based Fleet Financial will trade as a division of the Charles Hurst Group, the province’s largest car retailer, retaining all current directors and staff and continuing to operate under the Fleet Financial brand name.


Philip Miley, sales and marketing director of Fleet Financial, said: ‘With 16 successful years of trading behind us Fleet Financial has built up an unrivalled reputation in theNorthern Irelandmarketplace.


‘As an independent company we had reached our potential and to lift Fleet Financial onto the next level we needed to form a strategic alliance with a complementary but broader based organisation.


‘This acquisition by the Charles Hurst Group will enable us to deliver our growth strategy over the next number of years and will further enhance our service offering and business partnership to our customers through innovative products, improved funding options and strengthened client relationship management.’


Fleet Financial, which employs 24 people, currently manages more than 3,000 vehicles and has contracts with high profile brands such as Sky,AXAInsurance, Phoenix Gas, Dale Farm andSHSGroup. The company also recently became a preferred supplier for C&C Group plc which involves supplying vehicles throughout theUK.


Ken Surgenor, chairman of the Charles Hurst Group said: ‘We are delighted to have acquired Fleet Financial which is the undoubted market leader inNorthern Irelandfor contract hire and fleet management.


‘The expertise of its staff and the quality of its customer offering provide an excellent fit with the Charles Hurst Group profile and perfectly complement our existing business portfolio. This move further demonstrates the Charles Hurst Group’s ongoing growth strategy through acquisition and we look forward to Fleet Financial’s seamless integration into our business.’


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