CAR care and cycling giant Halfords has hailed the purchase of the entire share capital of Axle Group Holdings Ltd for £62 million.

Glasgow headquartered Axle Group owns National Tyres and Autocare, Viking Wholesale Tyres and Tyre Shopper.

National, which employs 1,400, will be integrated into Halfords' Autocentres business as it moves towards a mainly motoring operation.

Halfords said a further investment of £17m will be made post-acquisition on associated capital expenditure and £2m on integration costs.

It said its directors believe the acquisition is “both strategically and financially compelling, delivering on Halfords' objective of evolving into a business more heavily weighted towards motoring services”.

HeraldScotland:

Halfords said the deal accelerates its motoring services strategy surpassing its current target of 550 garages. Post-completion, it will have 604 garages, 234 consumer vans and 190 commercial vans. Including retail, this adds up to a combined total of over 1,400 fixed or mobile motoring services locations.

It claimed it means the majority of UK motorists will be within a 20-minute drive of a Halfords garage.

Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive, said that motoring is set to represent more than 70 per cent of its pro-forma revenue following closure of the deal.

“This acquisition helps cement our position as the UK's largest vehicle service, maintenance and repair business,” he said.

Tony Neill, National's chief executive, will join the group after the acquisition.

Axle Group Holdings Ltd’s annual report for the year ended December 31 2020 showed it made a profit of £460,000 against a profit of £4.5m in 2019. Turnover was £158m compared to £171m the year before, the report signed by Alan Revie, director, stated.

Former tyre fitter Mr Revie bought National Tyre Services in 2002 for £9m.

Halfords shares closed up 21p, or 6%, at 341p.