Motor retail veteran Tony Bramall will leave the Lookers board at the end of this year.
Bramall, a non-executive director, became a significant investor in Lookers during 2006 when he then blocked a takeover bid by Pendragon, the then largest dealer group in the UK which had only weeks earlier acquired Reg Vardy.
At the time, as he regarded the £55.7m investment in a 24.4% stake of Lookers as “a very good investment for the family in a well-run group where there is substantial opportunity for growth”, Bramall immediately stated: “Obviously I will not be accepting the existing Pendragon offer.”
Two years previously Bramall had sold his own £1.8 billion turnover dealer group, CD Bramall, to Pendragon for £230m as the latter’s chief executive Trevor Finn continued a plan for growth by acquisition, but Bramall soon returned to the industry with long-time colleague Peter Jones to form Audi retail group Bramall & Jones, which was later bought five years later by JCT600.
Jones later also joined the Lookers board, becoming its chief executive from 2009 to 2014.
Bramall had been expected to continue until Lookers next AGM in 2021 until today’s announcement.
In today’s announcement from Lookers, its chairman Phil White said: “Tony is a legendary figure and a real character of the motor industry.
“He has also been a stalwart member of the Lookers board for the past 14 years.
“I would like to thank him, both personally and on behalf of the board, for the huge contribution he has made to the group during his time with Lookers.”
In June, Lookers announced that White and chief executive Mark Raban would shake up its board of directors in the search for new skills and experience to guide it through its next phase of development.
It sought to replace four non-executive directors by mid-2021 and announced a search had begun for a non-executive chairman and two new non-executive directors.
Turmoil for Lookers which began in 2019 following the discovery of financial irregularities has continued through 2020, and the AM100 dealer group has suspended trading in its shares and still hasn’t produced its full year accounts for 2019.