Garages acquisition

Halfords snaps up McConechy’s tyre fitting chain

Good fit: tyre chain joins UK group

Halfords Group has acquired the Scotland-based tyres and MOT business McConechy’s, one of the largest independent garage chains in the UK.

Founded in Ayr in 1957, McConechy’s has 59 sites across Scotland and the north east of England, annual revenues of about £45 million and 330 staff.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by Halfords which described it as “a highly complementary acquisition for Halfords, supporting the growth of our services proposition”.

It provides customers with access to more than 900 service locations across the UK, including Autocentres, Halfords Mobile Expert and our weFit services.

Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive, commented: “We are very excited about today’s acquisition and I am delighted to welcome McConechy’s to the Halfords family.”

He said the vehicle servicing market is a £10bn market, but one which remains highly fragmented, offering significant scope for Halfords to grow its market share “considerably”.

Advisers on the transaction included PwC for Halfords, while the shareholders of McConechy’s were advised by a team from Grant Thornton Corporate Finance.

Neil McInnes, corporate finance partner at Grant Thornton, Scotland, who led the sale, said: “This is a great outcome for our long-standing client, which as a family business has grown over many years into a multimillion pound revenue company.”

The deal was announced as half-year profits at Halfords have been dented by weakened consumer confidence. Pre-tax profits for the 26 weeks to 27 September fell 2.5% to £27.5m.

The car parts, bikes and camping retailer said one cause was “consumers delaying big-ticket discretionary purchases, reflecting the current economic and political uncertainty”.

It added: “Our motoring and cycling products businesses remain core but, beyond this, we need to deliver a substantial shift to services in order to drive growth and address the headwinds faced by retailers of products.”

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