Frank Keane in talks to buy troubled rival Maxwell's
DUBLIN-based BMW dealer Frank Keane Holdings is close to a deal to buy one-time rival Maxwell Motors out of receivership, the Irish Independent has learned.
Frank Keane has emerged as the likely buyer of south Dublin based Maxwell's, after a competitive auction process. If it goes ahead the takeover is a rare sign of new investment in what remains a tough sector.
Last night a spokesman for Frank Keane Holdings confirmed that the company is in discussions with Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, who was appointed as receiver and manager of Maxwell Motors in May.
The sale process is ongoing, and a contract has yet to be fully agreed. The receiver is understood to have put the business up for sale as a going concern, with plans to retain all 16 jobs.
Maxwells is based in Blackrock, while Frank Keane is based on the Naas Road, both in Co Dublin. Up until 2008 both garages sold BMW cars.
Maxwell's has been in business since 1938, and had its BMW franchise from 1989 to 2008. The company struggled after giving up the franchise and because of the general slump in car sales.
Accounts filed with the Companies Office show Maxwell's sales fell by more than €30m between 2008 and 2009, to just under €14m.
Frank Keane Holdings, which still has its BMW dealership on the Naas Road in Dublin, is an unlimited company and does not have to file detailed financial accounts with the Companies Office.
Maxwell's was taken into receivership at the beginning of May with €3.6m of debt.