LONDON (June 30, 2005) — CVC Capital Partners has agreed to sell Kwik-Fit Group Ltd., the 1,685-outlet automotive and tire service chain, to Speedy 1 Ltd., a new entity backed by the private equity group PAI Partners.
The deal is valued at $1.44 billion, or more than twice what CVC paid Ford Motor Co. in 2002 for a 70-percent stake in Kwik-Fit, which is considered the European leader in “fast-fit” automotive services with annual sales of about $1.4 billion.
Hamish Mackenzie, a partner at PAI, said Kwik-Fit has “exceptional brand recognition in its key markets” and benefits from significant growth prospects as a market leader.
“The company enjoys a high reputation for trust, reliability and value for money,” he said. “PAI intends to support the management team to further strengthen Kwik-Fit's leading positions in the fast-fit European market.”
Founded in 1971 in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Tom Farmer, Kwik-Fit has steadily grown through acquisitions and new stores to its current size of 1,685 centres and 215 mobile units in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France (trading as Speedy) and Germany (trading as Pit-Stop).
PAI reportedly outbid U.S. buyout giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp. for Kwik-Fit, according to several European news reports.
PAI Partners is one of the oldest and most experienced private equity firms in Europe with its origins dating back to Paribas Affaires Industrielles, the historical principal investment activity of Paribas, the pan-European merchant bank which merged with BNP in 1999.