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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 08:32 GMT
Pendragon eyes up rival Lookers
Alfa Romeo 147
Alfa Romeo is one of Pendragon's leading franchises
Britain's biggest car dealer Pendragon has launched a 258m ($448m) hostile bid for the company it beat in the race to buy fellow dealer Reg Vardy.

The new bid comes just days after the Nottingham-based group completed its acquisition of Reg Vardy for 506m, trumping rival Lookers' 492m offer.

With one firm down, Pendragon now hopes to take over Lookers too.

Pendragon had previously suggested a three-way deal to buy both Reg Vardy and Lookers, which both firms rejected.

Final offer

Pendragon's takeover strategy is aimed at strengthening the companies' position in Europe's second-biggest car market, which suffered a 5% drop in sales last year as consumers tightened their purse strings.

After approaching the board of Lookers, it had failed to engage the Manchester-based company in any "meaningful discussions", said Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Pendragon.

Pendragon said it would now leave Lookers' shareholders to decide, in what it described as its final offer.

Pendragon is the UK's largest car dealer, with 230 outlets and franchises including Alfa Romeo and Maserati.


SEE ALSO:
Reg Vardy backing Pendragon bid
06 Feb 06 |  Business
Battle of the car dealers hots up
03 Feb 06 |  Business
Car dealers dismiss merger plan
27 Jan 06 |  Business
Pendragon extends Vardy bid offer
29 Dec 05 |  Business
New potential buyer for Reg Vardy
06 Dec 05 |  Business
Pendragon in 450m Reg Vardy deal
05 Dec 05 |  Business


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