Neil Williamson, the former CEO of Jardine Motors Group, will head up Lithia Motor’s new larger group if the proposed Pendragon deal goes through. Lithia, which acquired Jardine in March for £300m, made a £280m bid for Pendragon’s car dealerships and leasing business, including a £30m investment in Pinewood. The current CEO of Pendragon, Bill Berman, will remain with the renamed Pinewood Technologies business.
If the deal is approved, Williamson will lead the combined business, making it the third most profitable group in the Car Dealer Top 100, with an estimated combined EBITDA profit of £231m. In terms of revenue, the newly formed group will be the second largest dealer group in the UK, ranking behind Sytner with a turnover of £5bn.
Lithia’s UK operations will have over 200 car dealerships representing 25 manufacturers. Shareholders will need to give the proposed deal a majority approval of at least 51% for it to proceed. This means that Hedin, a 26% shareholder, will not be able to block the deal. The completion of the deal is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.
Neil Williamson has vast experience in the automotive industry, having served as the CEO of Jardine Motors Group for over eight years. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at Seat UK and Mercedes Benz Retail Group. Lithia has confirmed that Williamson will lead the larger business but declined to provide further comment.
This partnership between Lithia and Jardine will support the growth and development of the team and network, allowing them to capitalize on significant growth opportunities in the UK. Both parties are confident that they will thrive under this new partnership and are excited to work closely together to achieve their growth ambitions.
– Car Dealer