Car dealer Lookers rejects bid...

CAR dealership Lookers yesterday rejected an initial “speculative” bid by an investment company led by veteran investor Jack Petchey, but a new offer could be in the pipeline.

Petchey’s Trefick yesterday confirmed its interest in a takeover, and revealed that it was behind last week’s rejected bid.

Brett Palos, Sir Philip Green’s stepson, and Moor Park, a private equity property advisory firm, are part of Petchey’s group.

They are now pursuing a potential £260m-plus bid for Lookers. Trefick Group already owns 17 per cent of Lookers.

Trefick called on Lookers to open its books to the bidders so that they could confirm their all-cash approach. Moor Park’s three partners are Gary Wilder, Shemeel Khan and Jagdeep Kapoor, who all worked at Nomura’s private equity division in London.

Trefick said in a statement: “The parties have requested access to certain information in order to confirm the cash offer, but the board of Lookers has, to date, declined to provide this.”

Last Wednesday Lookers said its board had rebuffed a “highly speculative” approach for the company from an unnamed suitor, pushing shares up more than ten per cent.

... as veteran investor Petchey goes on new acquisition drive

JACK Petchey OBE is leading a team potentially interested in moving for car dealership Lookers.

A genuine “rags to riches” businessman, Petchey rose from office boy at 14-years-old to a motor trade and property tycoon.

The philanthropist, now 85, set up the Petchey Group after the Second World War, growing the business from a single mini-cab to control of a fleet of cars and car showrooms and then on to holiday properties abroad.

He has an office in East London where he deals in share trading and has become one of the City’s most active and successful private dealers. His investment vehicle for the potential Lookers move is Trefick.

The East Londoner set up the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 to help young people in London. He has donated more than £65m to schools, clubs and projects.

Petchey is a serial stake builder in property and car companies. He previously invested in and then exited from Reg Vardy, the car dealership group, in 2007, at a profit.

He has written a book, 50/50 Man, about his business acumen. He talks about giving his children 50 per cent towards something they wanted to buy but they would have to make up the difference, summing up his belief in self help. Petchey is also a former chairman of Watford FC, finally selling his stake to Elton John.