BRUSSELS (Aug. 25, 2005) — The European Commission has cleared the $1.44 billion sale of Kwik-Fit Group Ltd., Europe's largest independent automotive service network, to P.A.I. Partners S.A.S., a French investment group.
P.A.I., a leading European private equity firm with offices in Paris, London, Madrid and Milan, is buying Kwik-Fit from CVC Capital Partners, which bought the firm from Ford Motor Co. in 2002 for about $500 million. Ford, in turn, had acquired Kwik-Fit in April 1999 from the business's founder Tom Farmer for $1.6 billion.
The Kwik-Fit network comprises 1,685 service centers and 215 mobile units across the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France (trading as Speedy) and Germany (trading as Pit-Stop).
Hamish Mackenzie, a partner at PAI, said Kwik-Fit has “exceptional brand recognition” and “benefits from significant growth prospects as a market leader.” PAI said it intends to support the management team to further strengthen Kwik-Fit's leading positions in the fast-fit European market.