Skip to content
Freeths - Law firm

Automotive Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions

Corporate deals & the automotive sector

The sector has experienced substantial changes that have created both opportunity and risk for businesses. Advancements in technology and innovation, the changes in both government and international policy, together with the onset of electric and alternative power sources, has meant the industry has had to adapt its focus accordingly.

Mergers and acquisitions are a fundamental tool that OEMs, dealerships and parts suppliers can use to strategically plan for commercial success and mitigate potential issues.

The use of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to acquire competitors purely to gain economies of scale is slowing. Businesses must address the “disruptive” challenges via acquisitions offering them enhanced tech and automation capabilities allowing faster and targeted growth. Likewise acquisitions of suppliers on which a business relies can further mitigate risk and enable them to retain control.

Despite the sector coming under significant pressure in recent years, following the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit causing global disruption to supply chains, the number of deals is still increasing. Private equity interest is strong, pushing up the competition, and the number of special purchase acquisition companies has increased.

At Freeths we have a dedicated team of Corporate lawyers specialising in helping support businesses in the automotive sector.

How we can help automotive retailers and manufacturers

  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy review, including scenario planning to see what is right for your business; build up, buy in or partner to achieve growth
  • Making your business attractive to investment, mergers, joint ventures, reorganisations, carve outs and disposals
  • Private Equity advice on venture and development capital funding, mid-market buyouts and institutional buy outs sponsored by upper market sponsors
  • Corporate real estate
  • Due diligence
  • Business and asset transfer
  • Investment and strategic partnerships, such as joint ventures between manufacturers and retailers
  • FCA-regulated business sales and acquisitions
  • Acquisition and construction of new sites
  • Post-Merger integration and agile collaboration
  • Capturing full value of acquisitions including intellectual property and business model

What sets our automotive legal services apart?

Our focus is to understand how you want us to work and what your aims and objectives are so that we can deliver a service that is responsive, tailored to your needs and adds real value at a critical time.

  • An award-winning corporate team, recognised as one of the most active in the UK.
  • Reputation for building long term client relationships, clients trust in us as a key strategic and operational partner.
  • Integrated support across our business offering the complimentary services needed for corporate deals, including IP, regulatory & compliance, employment, commercial, restructuring, insolvency, competition, real estate, dispute resolution and tax.
  • Hands on experienced practitioners, many with leading City law firm backgrounds, offering high quality and commercially focused advice, with some having worked in-house.

Testimonials and Memberships

“Freeths perform extremely strongly in all the matters upon which we seek their advice, in particular complex and sophisticated matters.”  Chambers & Partners, 2023

“In my experience where Freeths have been involved, their legal team understands exactly how the automotive industry works from a contractual and operational perspective.” Bob Batty | UK Director | Automotive Services International


We regularly contribute to Automotive Management Online and are an Associate Member of the National Franchised Dealers Association.

Meet the team

Automotive Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers

Jonathan Hambleton
Managing Partner

0345 271 6750

Richard Coates

Richard Coates

0345 128 7972


Freeths perform extremely strongly in all the matters upon which we seek their advice, in particular complex and sophisticated matters.

(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

In my experience where Freeths have been involved, their legal team understands exactly how the automotive industry works from a contractual and operational perspective.

(Bob Batty, UK Director, Automotive Services International)

The team is very responsive, practical and commercial. The attitude is to work constructively to get a deal done. We value the advice in particular because the Freeths corporate team find commercial solutions to problems as they arise.

(The Legal 500, 2023)

Notable Work

Examples of our recent Corporate Deals:

  • The sale of an automotive group operating, a 12- site franchised car dealership representing Audi, Peugeot, Skoda and Volkswagen and operating across the South West
  • Citroen on the sale of a car dealership
  • Pendragon, on the acquisition of a franchised car dealership (Stratstone BMW and Mini)
  • Fleetondemand in relation to itsinvestment from BGF
  • Motorpoint on numerous acquisitions, lease terminations and renewals, the group’s refinancing and their complex group reorganisation
  • DivideBuy on its £60million investment round, providing ongoing regulatory support, including preparing the business for a further investment round

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

Choose an office:

Portfolio close
People CV Email

Remove All

Click here to email this list of people to a colleague.