Luxury leader Trivett sells for $116m

21 February 2013
, CarsGuide
Luxury leader Trivett sells for $116m
Trivett Group executive chairman Greg Duncan.

Leading Australian elite car chain Trivett has been acquired by one of the world’s largest automotive groups, Inchcape in a buyout worth $116.7m.

Britain-based Inchape Group already has operations across Europe and Asia, with its Australian presence including Subaru imports and Volkswagen and Mitsubishi showrooms.

It will now add the upmarket Trivett retail group with sales of 9000 cars a year across 23 showrooms and a range of 17 brands including McLaren, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

However Trivett executive chairman Greg Duncan says he and his son Matthew will both continue in a consulting role with Inchcape, and with positions on the board of of which Trivett is a major shareholder in the joint-venture ownership with News Limited.

“Both Matthew and I have been invited to enter into consulting agreements and we are committed to a seamless transition of ownership and to supporting our exceptional team of people,” Duncan says.

“Trivett will continue with its total commitment to Carsguide and the Duncans will retain their shareholding in the Carsguide brand. Not only will we continue that commitment, but we will now have more time to focus on it.”

Duncan says the approach from Inchcape was far from the first they had received, but was an excellent fit with Trivett’s nearly 30-year Australian leadership in prestige vehicles.

“We've had approaches every year for the past five years. None have attracted us like Inchcape. None have been as compatible and as good a fit in every regard,” he says.

“Inchcape has an outstanding global reputation for it's ‘customer first’ focus,” he says. “Their culture and Trivett's are very compatible. What we have created as a family business over the years they have formalised into processes that achieve high customer service on a consistent basis.

“Inchcape approached us last year. They wanted to expand their retail ops in Australasia and in the premium segment. Our brands, our size, our location and our reputation was ideal for them. For us, we were in that ‘middle ground’, and to really leverage the business we needed to get bigger and expand beyond Sydney. As a family business in a very capital intensive industry this is a big step. The option to sell had great appeal. It is a good time for global companies to buy and for local companies to sell.

“Their global CEO Andre Lacroix is an amazingly impressive leader. His commitment to his people and to Customer service was influential in our decision. As he's has said, Trivett is a quality business and a good fit for Inchcape. Like Andre we believe the two businesses are very compatible.”