IMPERIAL, which is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange and employs more than 46,000 people worldwide, is the owner of one of the UK’s largest independent commercial vehicle dealer groups.
Orwell, a £64 million turnover Mercedes-Benz dealership with branches in Ipswich, Norwich, Colchester and Newmarket, is a strong local brand and becomes a high profile addition to the IMPERIAL UK portfolio, allowing Imperial, which has a wider global relationship with the Mercedes-Benz brand, to bring this relationship to the UK for the first time.
Following its purchase by IH Mobility Holdings (UK) Limited, Orwell will remain largely autonomous with the trading name and senior management staying in place – a feature of the IMPERIAL model which actively encourages entrepreneurship.
IMPERIAL’s UK Managing Director Ian Oakes said: "The IMPERIAL UK business has been enhanced by this acquisition. Orwell Truck & Van is a well respected, long standing Mercedes-Benz dealer partner with a strong track record."
Andrew Hornigold, partner in Pinsent Masons’ Corporate team, said: "This was a significant deal for IMPERIAL UK and we have been very happy to assist in what was seen by both sides as a natural tie-up."
Pinsent Masons and Imperial have a long standing relationship with Pinsents having acted for Imperial on its acquisition of the family-owned Watts Truck Centre Limited in early 2012 and a series of other projects over the last three years. The Orwell deal was project managed by corporate lawyer Tom Garbett with senior associates Kate Featherstone and John Edwards leading on tax and property issues, respectively.