Bidvest on Wednesday offered R947 million to acquire leading motor retailer McCarthy Motor Holdings. However, Bidvest has asked the entire McCarthy management team to stay on and Brand Pretorius was expected to remain chief executive.

Bidvest on Wednesday offered R947 million to acquire leading motor retailer McCarthy Motor Holdings. However, Bidvest has asked the entire McCarthy management team to stay on and Brand Pretorius was expected to remain chief executive.


According to newspaper reports, Bidvest offered to pay 33c a share for McCarthy, and the banking consortium that holds 88,3 percent of the motor group's ordinary shares agreed to accept.


According to , the R13-billion Bidvest group has a decentralised style of management, which will allow McCarthy to operate reasonably autonomously.


In terms of the deal, an empowerment company called Dinatla will acquire a 15 per cent holding in Bidvest. "The motor manufacturers are very pleased that McCarthy will have an empowerment profile," Bidvest chief executive Brian Joffe said.


The transaction is subject to the completion of a due diligence and the approval of the motor manufacturers and licensors represented by McCarthy, the Securities Regulation Panel and the Competition Commission.


The deal represents Bidvest's first move into the motor retailing and services market, but Pretorius was quoted as saying that the deal would provide meaningful strategic and business benefits to McCarthy.


"Bidvest has a fleet of about 5 000 vehicles, which McCarthy will be in a position to service," Pretorius said. "Bidvest is also strong in the travel industry and its ownership of Rennies should assist Budget Rent-A-Car by broadening its customer base."


Pretorius added that should the deal go through, McCarthy would benefit from Bidvest's financial strength.


However, the deal would spell the end of an era, as McCarthy, with a market capitalisation of just over R1 billion, would be delisted. The McCarthy board has appointed independent corporate advisers, who will start a valuation of the company next week.