REGIONAL Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealership Orwell Truck & Van has been acquired by the South African-based group Imperial Holdings.

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Imperial, one of the largest independent commercial vehicle dealer groups in the UK, has acquired the entire share capital of Orwell for an undisclosed sum.

David Grant, who founded Orwell in 1991, will continue in the role of manager director and all 190 employees of the company, which is based at Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich, and also has branches in Colchester, Newmarket and Norwich, will remain with the business.

Imperial’s commercial vehicle franchises in the UK already includes DAF, MAN and Isuzu trucks, together with VW, Ford, Nissan and Fiat vans.

Ian Oakes, Imperial’s UK managing director, said: “Orwell Truck & Van is a well respected, long standing Mercedes-Benz Dealer partner with a very strong regional reputation and is a great fit within the Imperial UK portfolio.

“Imperial has an extensive global partnership with the Mercedes-Benz brand and is delighted to be able to extend this to the UK through this acquisition.”

David Grant added: “Imperial have an excellent record of investing in the commercial vehicle sector and will bring great expertise both to our company and the wider franchise.

“Under the new owners, the business will continue to be called and operate as Orwell Truck & Van, so it’s ‘business as usual’ from the point of view of both customers and staff alike. The future development of the business is secure.”

Orwell, which features in the EADT/EDP Top 100 listing of the largest companies based in Suffolk and Norfolk, was advised by the Ipswich office of accountants and business advisers PKF and Colchester-based Ellisons Solicitors.

Keith Ferguson of PKF said: “We are pleased to have completed this transaction. We believe that the additional resources of Imperial Holdings will provide Orwell Truck & Van with a bright future.”

Seamus Clifford from Ellisons added: “We wish Orwell Truck & Van every success going forward and have been delighted to have been involved in this significant deal.”

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