Inchcape Plc (“Inchcape”), a leading independent multi-brand global automotive distributor based in the United Kingdom, today announced 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 centre business, 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.
Inchcape will power CATS to the next step in its journey, bringing global scale across more than 40 markets, 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 H2 2023 with CATS’ founding Ang family retaining the remaining 40% of the company and continuing to be represented on the Board by Felix Ang, and management team.
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.”