Independent car supermarket Available Car Limited has acquired the former Carcraft site in Leeds in a £8m deal part-funded by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The family-owned business, which is one of the largest independent car retailers in the UK, plans to open a new retail facility on the site in January 2016 housing 1,500 vehicles. The opening will create over 200 new jobs in every area of the company.
Established in 2001, Available Car is owned and run by husband and wife team Graham and Alison Bell. The business, which had a turnover of £208m for the financial year ending December 2014, employs more than 500 staff at sites in Cannock North Birmingham, Castle Donington East Midlands and Sutton in Ashfield North Nottinghamshire.
Available Car stock 36 different brands of used car and the majority of vehicles for sale are between £3,000 and £23,000. The purchase of the former Carcraft site is part of the company’s strategy to grow by acquisition and through broadening the range of services it offers to consumers.
Graham Bell, chairman of Available Car Limited, said: “To grow the business we are looking to acquire high quality sites in prime locations.
“This site is located in a great position on Junction 28, M62, and provides an opportunity to further develop and build the Available Car brand in Yorkshire and the North of England.”
Lloyds Bank’s Manchester-based Mid-Markets team provided a £5.6m property loan to support the transaction. Black Horse, the bank’s motor finance division, has provided dealer finance facilities to Available Car since the business was formed 14 years ago.
Simon Atkinson, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Available Car is a business that has strong growth ambitions and a clearly defined plan to help achieve these goals.
“The move to acquire a site in a different part of the country makes sound commercial sense and will further cement their position as one of the leading independent operators in this sector.”
Raymond Poole, senior area manager at Black Horse, said: “Having worked with Available Car since the business was formed 14 years ago, we are delighted to help support this new and exciting acquisition.
“Opening a new major site in Leeds will help the company achieve its growth ambitions and increase its brand and market presence further.”