Motoring and cycling products retailer Halfords has agreed a £15m deal to take over a South East-based motor services company.
The Redditch-headquartered business has acquired Universal Tyre and Autocentres.
The Kent-based company – which specialises in changing tyres on cars and tractors – has 20 sites across the region and a fleet of 89 response vans.
But Halfords plans to find a new buyer for the buildings and then rent them back within the next few months.
The acquisition means Halfords has now has 374 garages and 321 repair vans in its autocentres division. It also runs 404 retail shops which also provide car services.
It also forms part of the company’s ambition of having 550 garages across the UK.
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Bosses at Halfords said the deal is “another exciting step in the growth of Halfords’ motoring servicing business.”
Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “We have a clearly stated strategy of building a market-leading motoring services offer, and the acquisition of Universal is another important step forward in helping us to achieve that goal.
“We continue to see strong demand for our autocentres, for our expanding fleet of Halfords mobile expert vans, and for our growing commercial business. Universal will help us to meet that demand whilst also expanding our geographic footprint in a market for which we see significant potential.”
Universal specialises in tyre services, including the supply and fit of tyres for a wide range of vehicles – from cars, commercial vehicles and agricultural vehicles. It also offers general car maintenance and repairs such as brakes, servicing and MOTs.
Revenue for 2020 was more than £31m.