Leeds-based major Skoda retailer goes into overdrive by acquiring Hull franchise

Tuesday 19th February 2013

The Leeds-based largest Skoda retailer in the UK has gone up a gear by acquiring the car manufacturer’s dealership in Hull.

DM Keith, based in Hunslet Road, has bought Royce Roberts for an undisclosed sum. The purchase will now sit alongside the buyer’s existing Skoda franchises in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Huddersfield and York, where it also operates a SEAT dealership.

All 17 full-time and two part-time staff at Royce Roberts, based in Hull’s Beverley Road, will be retained by the new owner.

DM Keith was advised on the deal by a four-person team from the corporate and commercial property departments at Yorkshire law firm Gordons, led by partners Peter Barton and Andy Brian.

Gordons had previously worked with DM Keith when the group acquired its sites in Huddersfield,  Bradford and York, six, five and three years ago respectively.

Commenting on the Royce Roberts deal, Dougal Keith, director, DM Keith, said: “The transaction had a complex structure, involving not just a sale price but arrangements over Royce Roberts’ debt, for example. Yet Gordons guided us through the whole process smoothly, while ensuring the purchase could be completed within a demanding timescale. Having worked with the firm repeatedly before, this impressive service was no surprise.”

DM Keith, founded half-a-century ago this year, supplies new cars alongside a large selection of approved used vehicles. Owned by directors Dougal and Angus Keith, the sons of the founder, the business has been selling the Skoda range for over 35 years. All work in the company’s after-sales departments is undertaken by fully trained Volkswagen group technicians.

Royce Roberts, founded in 2008, offers services including new and used cars, motability, business and fleet sales, parts and accessories, servicing and repairs, plus MoT testing. The company was named after its founder and owner until the sale to DM Keith, a former general manager and operations director with another leading car group in Yorkshire.

Gordons’ Peter Barton said: “The DM Keith brand has been built through factors such as development of excellent relationships with customers, competitive pricing, outstanding service levels and the team having a real passion for their work. It’s therefore a pleasure to have helped the business broaden its base further and we’re certain its attributes will very soon be widely appreciated in Hull.”

One of the UK’s most successful law firms with offices in Leeds and Bradford. Gordons has been established for over 168 years, currently employs 280 people and has a turnover of over £25m.  Gordons’ excellence was recognised in a number of award schemes during 2012:

  • Business of the Year in the £10m to £50m category in the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards
  • Private Client Team of the Year and Managing Partner of the Year in the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards
  • UK and Ireland Regional Team of the Year in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Private Client Awards
  • Property Law Firm of the Year in the Yorkshire Property Industry Awards
  • Runner-up in the Regional Law Firm of the Year category of the Lawyer Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Excellence in Community Investment category of the Law Society Excellence Awards.

Clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, construction and high performance materials manufacturer Saint Gobain, international brewers Molson Coors, greetings card retailer Card Factory and the world’s largest electrical heating business Glen Dimplex. For more information visit www.gordonsllp.com.