Eastern Western acquires Barnetts Motor Group
Barnetts: end of family tie
Car dealership Eastern Western has bought the Dundee-based Barnetts Motor Group in a multi-million-pound deal.
As part of the agreement, the new owner will keep the Barnetts name as well as retaining all 150 staff, including directors Atholl Hutchison and Jim Brown. However, the move will see the Barnett family’s 70-year link to the motor trade industry in the Dundee region come to an end.
Barnetts represents Volkswagen, Mazda and Volvo from a single site in Dundee and also Volkswagen in St Andrews.
The Volvo franchise will be transferred to the John Clark Motor Group as part of a simultaneous deal and in turn the Eastern Western Motor Group acquires the Nissan businesses in Dundee and Perth. Nissan in Dundee will be rehoused in the showroom vacated by Volvo.
Last year saw the business generate sales of £65.3 million and return a £1.3m pre-tax profit.
Chairman Paul Barnett said: “In Eastern Western we have found a really great fit – it is a company with similar values and core ethos to Barnetts – and by being part of a bigger group there are better benefits to be had.
“I will be sad to leave but, thinking about the car trade and running your own business, it is 24/7 – even when you are sitting around the swimming pool on holiday you are constantly thinking about the business.”
Eastern Western group managing director Douglas Brown approached Barnetts around 12 months ago to discuss the possibility of the buy-out.
“We took a policy decision about a year ago that if anyone came to speak to us then we would have the chat with them,” said Mr Barnett.
“Douglas came to us and said he was interested in the business and it seemed a really good cultural fit. He wasn’t thinking about changing the name – which was nice for me – and they are keeping all the staff and my two fellow-directors are staying on.
“There’s a really bright future for the business.”
Mr Barnett will now concentrate on expanding the family’s property interests through Barnetts Properties, which owns Bassaguard Business Park in St Andrews.
Headquartered in Broxburn, Eastern Western has dealerships in Edinburgh, Glasgow and throughout central Scotland.