Gavin Hydes, Joe Duffy Motors CEO Increases Stake in UK’s Virtu Motors to 4.1%

Gavin Hydes
Citation: Image used for information purpose only. Picture Credit:

Gavin Hydes, CEO of Joe Duffy Motors, has boosted his ownership stake in Vertu Motors, the UK’s fourth-largest car dealer. Recent filings from the stock market-listed Vertu Motors indicate that Mr. Hydes has increased his stake from 3.3% to 4.1%. Currently valued at approximately £9 million (€10.5 million), this holding represents a significant investment.

Mr. Hydes made this investment in Vertu Motors through Nivag Holdings, an Irish company wholly owned by him. Through Nivag Holdings and shares held directly in his name, he also controls Joe Duffy Motors.

Initially crossing the 3% ownership threshold in Vertu last November, Mr. Hydes’ investment was reported to the stock exchange through Nivag’s ownership of 3.3%. As per regulatory requirements, investors must disclose ownership exceeding 3% in a listed company.

However, since the end of November, shares in Vertu, listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, have experienced a decline of about 22%.

Yesterday’s market capitalization for the company stood at £223 million. A recent regulatory disclosure revealed that Nivag increased its stake in Vertu Motors last Friday.

Established in 2006, Vertu was created to acquire and consolidate motor retail businesses in the UK. It currently operates a network of 188 franchised and non-franchised motor dealerships across the country, trading under the names Vertu Motors, Bristol Street Motors, and Macklin Motors.

Under the Macklin Motors brand in Scotland, Vertu sells various car brands including Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Toyota.

For the fiscal year ending February 2023, Vertu reported revenue slightly exceeding £4 billion, up from £3.6 billion in the previous year. However, its adjusted profit before tax dropped by 50% to £39.3 million.

Vertu noted that used-vehicle values in the UK have stabilized at a lower level after a recent downturn. Additionally, it mentioned a year-on-year decline in new vehicle sales in the UK, with manufacturers offering discounts and enhanced deals to stimulate sales.

“Despite the impact of the complex market dynamics on the short-term performance of the business, the current market presents opportunities for Vertu with our strong balance sheet providing financial flexibility,” said chief executive Robert Forrester at the time.

Joe Duffy Motors claims to be the biggest network of vehicle dealerships in Ireland.
It has over 20 sites across the nation and represents 17 companies.
The company’s profit after taxes increased to €18.7 million in 2022 from €15.2 million in 2021, according to the most current publicly accessible financial records. Revenue climbed from €457.3 million to €545 million.