Conti sells United Kingdom chains
HANOVER, Germany-Continental A.G. has sold its National Tyre Service (NTS) retail chain and Viking International wholesale company in the United Kingdom to a financial holding company headed by NTS CEO Alan Revie.
The sale price was not disclosed, but Continental told analysts late last year it would take a charge against earnings of about $27 to cover losses on the sale. NTS operates 214 branches throughout the U.K. and reported sales of nearly $170 million last year.
Conti bought NTS from Michelin Tyres U.K. in 1991 after Michelin had acquired it from BTR P.L.C., which had ``inherited'' it in the breakup of Dunlop Holdings Ltd. The chain was more than $50 million in the red in fiscal 1999 and 2000, according to Conti financial reports.
Ford to divest Kwik-Fit stores
DEARBORN, Mich.- Ford Motor Co. has hired investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help it divest its Kwik-Fit tire and auto service unit in Europe, along with two U.S.-based repair and recycling businesses.
Ford bought Kwik-Fit, now a chain of more than 2,500 service centers throughout the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Poland, in 1999 for $1.6 billion.
At the time, Ford planned to make Kwik-Fit the cornerstone of a plan to expand its aftermarket automotive products and services business. Now, Ford-in the midst of a revitalization plan that it expects will boost its bottom line by $3 billion-no longer considers Kwik-Fit a core business. Ford said it expects to realize $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of non-core assets, including Kwik-Fit.
In addition to Kwik-Fit, the business operates stores under the names Pit-Stop in Germany and Speedy in France, Spain and Switzerland.