Fleet News

Dagenham Motors agrees takeover

FORD looks set to become the first manufacturer in the UK to take control of the distribution of its cars. In collaboration with Jardine Motors, with which it formed a joint venture called Polar Motor Group, Ford has agreed a £28.8 million takeover bid for Dagenham Motors, its main UK distributor.

The enlarged company, which includes Jardine's Polar and BPW dealerships, will have control of 7% of all Ford sales in the UK. Ford and Jardine Motors announced last year they were planning the joint bid for Dagenham Motors. In a statement Dagenham Motors' board admitted trading conditions in the last quarter of 1998 had been 'difficult' and that it now expected profits for the year to December 31 to be below the pre-tax profit of £6.2 million achieved last year.

Following discussions with Ford and Jardine, Dagenham Motors agreed in principle to recommend an offer of 160p per share. Dagenham Motors is valued about £28 million. The offer will be subject to pre-conditions including the completion of a due diligence investigation into Dagenham Motors. A Ford spokesman said Stock Exchange laws prevented the company from commenting on the bid.

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