Management buy-in at SLM Group

Board of Directors become shareholders of St Leonards Motors Holdings Limited.

Four directors at SLM Group have successfully completed a management buy-in.

In a major move, Mark Phillips, Gus Wakeford, Jason Barlow and Will Woods have pledged to remain dedicated to the company until retirement, or until suitable successors are identified.

Alongside existing family shareholders, the Board of Directors aim to secure the expertise of the current management team and foster confidence among the 274 staff they currently employ across East Anglia, Kent and East Sussex.

This transition, which has been in progress for over three years, was partially delayed due to the challenges posed by the pandemic. However, it remained a shared vision of Brian Wakeford, who was one of the original founders – along with John Wakeford and the late Ian Wakeford – to ensure the company’s continued future success.

“I am thrilled about this new chapter,” says managing director Mark Phillips. “We remain committed to delivering exceptional service to our customers, providing employment stability, and generating growth opportunities for both staff and shareholders.

“The management buy-in signals the start of an exciting era for St Leonards Motors and the Board of Directors are eager to lead the company into a prosperous future.”

Their Toyota Norwich dealership is one of the largest in the Group (after acquiring the franchise from Dingles), and they have dealerships in Attleborough and Lowestoft too.

The Group also recently announced the acquisition of Quest Motor Group in Braintree.

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