One More Thing: Joe Duffy hires Bill Cullen’s old Renault dealership

 

It looks like Bill Cullen’s one-time motor industry rivals are set to swallow the last bits of his motoring empire from receivership.

Joe Duffy Motors announced during the week that it had bought Billo’s former Renault dealership in Airside Motor Park in Swords, north Dublin. It didn’t reveal the price, but a little birdie told our in-house motoring boffin that it paid in the region of €2.65 million, a nice chunk of change.

Joe Duffy, which is the main dealer for a wide range of marques, most notably BMW, also owns the adjacent McAllister Volkswagen dealership in Airside, so it will be interesting to see if it keeps both premises. The company said it will reopen its latest acquisition early next year, creating 20 new jobs.

We also hear that Frank Keane motor group, is leading the race to buy Cullen’s other former dealership, in Liffey Valley, west Dublin. Nothing has been signed yet, but the engines are revving on a deal, by all accounts.

Keane has an expanding Dublin network that now includes operations for BMW on the Naas Road and Blackrock, along with a VW dealership on Walkinstown Avenue. Given the proximity of the Liffey Valley dealership to VW’s Irish headquarters it would seem a natural fit to have one of its stable of brands on the forecourt if Keane was to secure the premises.

The two dealerships were Cullen’s last remaining motoring businesses, but were placed into receivership by Ulster Bank late last year.

It’s all a long way from penny apples, and it’s an even longer way back to solvency for Billo.

But no doubt he’ll make it back to business at some stage. And we’ll applaud him when he does.

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