Constellation buys Lookers stake from ex-director

Constellation Automotive Holdings, Europe’s largest used car seller, has acquired a 19.9% stake in Altrincham-based car dealership Lookers plc, just weeks after agreeing a takeover of rival Marshall Motors.

Lookers said the majority of the shares were purchased at a price of £1.02 per share from Tony Bramall, who stepped down as a Lookers director in December 2020 after 14 years.

Lookers shares rose almost 5% to around 93p.

Constellation is the owner of online platforms Webuyanycar, Cinch and British Car Auctions.

Lookers said in a stock exchange statement: “Lookers has been notified by Constellation Automotive Holdings Limited and its related parties of its purchase over recent days of a total of 78 million group shares, representing approximately 19.90% of the issued ordinary share capital of the group.

“The majority of the shares were purchased at a price of 102 pence per share from Mr Tony Bramall (and associates), who stepped down as a non-executive director from the Lookers board in December 2020 after a term of 14 years.

“Constellation has been in contact with Lookers about its investment in the group and has indicated its support for the group’s recently outlined strategy and senior leadership.”

Lookers chairman Ian Bull said: “We are delighted to welcome Constellation as a significant shareholder of the group.

“Their investment endorses the board’s view that the group remains significantly undervalued.

“As outlined in our recent announcement, trading performance is strong, with an excellent new car order bank and the Group has a clear strategic framework to deliver our aspiration to become ‘The UK’s leading integrated automotive retail and services group’.”