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January 17, 2023

Inchcape PLC Acquires Controlling Stake In CATS Group Of Companies

Inchcape Plc (“Inchcape”) the leading independent multi-brand global automotive distributor today announces an agreement to enter into a joint venture with CATS Group of Companies (“CATS”), the leading distributor of luxury vehicles in the Philippines, including the acquisition by Inchcape of a controlling stake in CATS.

Founded by Felix R. Ang in 1989 as a car accessories, tires, and service center business (hence the CATS acronym), CATS has grown to become the leader in premium vehicle distribution and biggest one-stop shop luxury passenger vehicle center in the country with a core purpose and mission to fulfill the aspirations of its customers to own the car of their dreams.

Since 2004, CATS has been a distributor for Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram. In 2017, it became the Jaguar and Land Rover distributor for the Philippines and has set up a supporting dealership network. It also has dealerships for Mazda and Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Inchcape is a British multinational distribution, retail, and services company. An outgrowth of Calcutta-based Mackinnon Mackenzie Company, it has operations across more than 40 markets.

Its presence in Asia-Pacific started in 1967 with the acquisition of Borneo Motors, a company founded in 1925 to distribute vehicles in Singapore. Inchcape APAC has since expanded significantly across the region and today distributes new vehicles and parts in Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Guam, Macau, New Zealand, Saipan, Singapore and Thailand for a large portfolio of OEM brands: Toyota Motor Corporation, Subaru, Suzuki, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW Group, Chevrolet, Great Wall Motors, Peugeot Citroen, Harley-Davidson, Daimler Trucks and Buses, Hino and other commercial vehicle partners. Inchcape APAC is headquartered in Singapore and employs around 3,400 people across the region.

Inchcape will power CATS to the next step in its journey, bringing global scale, leadership in digital and data, and EV expertise to the fast growing and dynamic Philippine market where automotive sales are forecast to grow to 500,000 by 2026 with the luxury market expected to grow at an even stronger rate.

The joint venture with CATS is a great example of Inchcape’s “Accelerate Strategy” in action, delivering on the Group's ambition to expand its existing global footprint and presence in Asia and other underpenetrated markets while becoming the undisputed number one distribution partner for automotive manufacturers and the employer of choice for current and future employees.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023 with CATS’ founding Ang family retaining the remaining 40 percent of the company and continuing to be represented on the Board by Felix Ang, and his management team. 

Inchcape says that CATS will add around £ 120 million (P 8.037 billion) in annualized revenue.

Ruslan Kinebas, Inchcape’s APAC CEO, commented, “We are very pleased to be entering the new and strategically important market of the Philippines through the acquisition of a controlling stake in CATS’ Philippine operations. As the leading luxury vehicle distributor in the market, CATS has excellent OEM relationships, and we look forward to working with them and the Ang family to drive the business forward.”

Felix R. Ang, CATS Group of Companies founder, added, “After over 30 successful years of operating independently, we believe the time is now right for CATS to take the next step in our growth journey and in Inchcape we have found the right partner to drive us forward. The Philippines is a fast-growing market with an increasing demand for the luxury vehicles we provide, and we look forward to leveraging Inchcape’s leadership in digital and data to further build our distinctive market position through the provision of best in class customer service.”

1 comment:

  1. Hope this improves their abysmal after-sales service. Best or nothing? Pfffft. Ol’ Felix doesn’t care as long as he has his superyacht. A real disgrace to the MB name.


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