Canada’s Alpha Auto Group is a step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Lookers plc, as shareholders of the publicly traded U.K. dealership group signed off Sept. 5 on the approximately $862.6-million deal.
The all-cash takeover will supersize Toronto-based Alpha Auto, adding 147 U.K. locations to its 15 new-vehicle stores in Canada and the United States.
In a pair of votes Sept. 5, more than 90 per cent of Lookers shareholders approved the deal, which values the company at 130 pence per share, or 504.2 million pounds.
Global Auto Holdings Ltd., which was formed by the owners of Alpha Auto to carry out the purchase, initially offered 120 pence per share July 20, but upped the offer in August after encountering shareholder resistance.
At the time of the initial offer, Alpha Auto Executive Chairman Kuldeep Billan said the deal is a “compelling opportunity” for the company to push into the U.K. at a time of “substantial change” for the auto retail sector. Overnight, it will place Alpha Auto among the largest dealership groups in the U.K.
Shareholder backing helps the Canadian company clear two of the closing conditions for the buyout, but the deal remains subject to court and regulatory approval.
Lookers, which was founded in 1910 and employs more than 6,500 across the U.K. and Ireland, said it expects the acquisition to close early in the fourth quarter of 2023.